PoliticsNation, Monday, July 1st, 2013
Read the transcript from the Monday show
July 1, 2013
Guests: Faith Jenkins; Lisa Bloom; Marcia Clark; John Burris, Ken Padowitz,
Senfronia Thompson, Joan Walsh
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Prosecutors today questioned two
investigators who interviewed Mr. Zimmerman in the hours and days following
the shooting. And they played those interviews in court.
The prosecution also played Mr. Zimmerman`s walk-through of the crime
scene, the morning after the shooting, trying to highlight some apparent
inconsistencies in his account. At one point today, jurors watched how
police questioned Mr. Zimmerman about his version of events.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS SERINO, INVESTIGATOR: I don`t know how this is going to go at
this point. What he was doing when he came to your car, he probably
wouldn`t be here right now. Did that ever register to you at all. I guess
that I answer to his family right now.
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, KILLED TRAYVON MARTIN: Yes, sir.
SERINO: Why didn`t it occur to you -- I mean, a lot of what we do in
law enforcement is basically without talking and a lot of casual
encounters, intentional encounters we call them. You know, we might be
trying to detect something wrong. But it`s just to get a feel for the
person, Did it ever occur to you to go ahead and actually ask this person
what he was doing out there?
ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.
SERINO: Was it fear, precaution, safety, all of the above?
ZIMMERMAN: I didn`t want to confront him. And it wasn`t my job.
DORIS SINGLETON, INVESTIGATOR: Did you at that time ever say to him
I`m neighborhood watch?
SINGLETON: Did it not occur to you?
ZIMMERMAN: No. I don`t have a problem. And I started backing away
SINGLETON: But you kind of did have a problem. That`s why you were
following him, right? You had a concern with him.
ZIMMERMAN: I was scared.
SERINO: But did you, did you --
SINGLETON: You were scared to tell him that you has a concern? That
you were neighborhood watch? You were afraid to tell him that?
ZIMMERMAN: Yes, ma`am.
SINGLETON: I`m not trying to put you on the spot, but these are the
questions we`re going to answer.
ZIMMERMAN: No. I understand. I was scared.
SINGLETON: It seemed like the perfect opportunity to say, look, I`m
neighborhood watch. I don`t recognize you. Are you staying here?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: George Zimmerman says he was scared that night, even though
he was the one armed with a gun. He has pled not guilty and claims he shot
Trayvon Martin in self-defense.
Joining me now is former prosecutor Faith Jenkins, MSNBC legal analyst
Lisa Bloom, former prosecutor Marcia Clark, and criminal defense attorney
Thank you all for being here.
Faith, this was the first time jurors heard what George Zimmerman told
the police about that night. Your reaction.
FAITH JENKINS, FORMER CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: The prosecutor in order to
get a conviction in this case, they have to show that George Zimmerman is a
liar. They have to show that he made certain inconsistencies in his
statements because he knew that he did something wrong and he was trying to
cover it up.
Some of the inconsistencies that came out today are huge that
contradiction that you just played in that tape, I was scared, you knew you
had a gun. You knew you were armed. You knew you had a bullet in the
chamber of your gun. You were in your car. You got out of your car. You
follow and pursued Trayvon. Those are not the actions of a scared
individual. These are the facts that the prosecution has to focus on,
contradictions like that.
SHARPTON: And that some of the police was skeptical about his story,
LISA BLOOM, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Yes.
SHARPTON: That came through.
BLOOM: Chris Serino, I mean, after a week of watching all the
prosecution witnesses, get grilled on cross-examination, it`s kind of nice
to see George Zimmerman have to answer some hard questions, even though he
is not on the stand yet. He may never be on the stand. But his story that
he and Trayvon Martin interacted, whoever approaches who, and he says do
you have a problem? No, I don`t have a problem. And then Trayvon Martin
says you do now and just punches him in the face is inherently not
It doesn`t make any sense. It`s hard to believe. And when you put it
together with the way that George Zimmerman was talking about Trayvon
Martin that night to police officers, it seems a lot more likely that he
said something pretty offensive, over the line, or that he was the one that
threw the first blow. And I think that`s what these detectives are zeroing
SHARPTON: Marsha Clark, your reaction.
MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I had a very similar reaction to
Lisa. As I was listening to his account and I read through all of the
transcripts and I watched the footage. As I, you know, I just don`t buy
it. It just didn`t feel logical to me. He knows he is armed, obviously,
and he knows very well that he could win any fight that gets started
because he has the gun. And he stands out, he says I was afraid, and went
and I stood there and then he jumped out at me.
There is also, Reverend, there is a minute and 27-gap in what he
claims happened where he can`t account for it. He can`t explain what he
was doing out there. He is standing in the rain and then suddenly gets
jumped. There is very little that he describes happening leading up to the
encounter that I buy just from a logical standpoint. So, apart from the
consistencies which as mentioned by Faith, are important and there.
JOHN BURRIS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, and to play devil`s
advocate on this point, I mean, he doesn`t know if Trayvon Martin is armed
or not. I mean, he could be afraid. I mean, you know, when you really
think about it, he doesn`t really know. Now, that`s true. All the
inconsistencies everyone has said, they will all be something the
prosecution will have a chance to deal with. But at end of the day there
is no direct evidence that is going to contradict what George Zimmerman is
going to say.
So, I don`t know if I consider this that great of a windfall for the
prosecution. It`s because they`ve had so few victories during the course
of last week and a half, today was actually a good day for them. But I
don`t think that it necessarily overruled a lot of what George Zimmerman
has had to say.
SHARPTON: When you look at the interview played to the jury,
investigators question some parts of Zimmerman`s story like why he needed
to keep following Trayvon Martin. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERINO: How many streets are in that subdivision?
ZIMMERMAN: I think three.
SERINO: OK. And you`re part of the homeowners association. Are you
head of the neighborhood watch?
ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.
SERINO: OK. Once again, something else I got to try to explain away.
How do you not know the three streets in your neighborhood? How do I
explain that one away that you`re saying that you didn`t know what street
was the one of the three streets that go through there. You`re the head of
the homeowners. You`re the head of the watch. You know what I`m saying?
How, how do I do that? I mean.
ZIMMERMAN: To be honest with you. I have a bad memory anyway.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Faith, he has a bad memory. There is only three streets
that he did know the name of the street. But he remembers everything else.
Does that help or hurt?
JENKINS: Well, it hurts tremendously, because it shows he is not
being truthful. And, again, that`s what the prosecution has to show in
this case there are only three streets. This is also an area where he
walks his dog, and he is neighborhood watch. He knows this area like the
back of his hand. So he didn`t want to look bad and say he followed
Trayvon. So he said I went to look for a street sign, when actually he was
following Trayvon. He has all the motive and the state of mind to want to
follow Trayvon and confront him. Trayvon doesn`t have that. He has a 12-
year-old waiting for him back at home waiting for his skittles.
SHARPTON: Now, Lisa, you also hear where at one point he said that
the dispatcher told him to follow him. And there is nowhere On the Record
where the dispatcher told him to do that.
BLOOM: Right. In fact, the dispatcher, as we all know, said we don`t
need you to do that. And in another statement, George Zimmerman says three
times that he knows he was told not to follow. I think this lie about the
street sign is one of the most important lies.
You know, maybe he is just mistaken about whether there were bushes or
not. Maybe we can just let that one go by. But the central issue about
why he followed Trayvon Martin is addressed here when he says, well, I
didn`t remember the name of the street, so I had to go look for the street
sign. That sounds like an intentional lie that he made up to excuse the
fact that he went looking for Trayvon Martin.
SHARPTON: Marcia, how important is that as far as you are concerned
if you`re prosecuting this case?
CLARK: I`m leaning very heavily on all of these points that Lisa and
Faith have made and they are very important points. And let me point out
something in addition that I would definitely highlight for jury.
This is the man who was studying the law. He was studying criminal
justice. He was studying the law. And he knows as the police brought out.
So you know the law of homicide. You know what is justified, you know what
is not justifiable. And he said yes. And that means that this is
something who knows how to craft the correct story to appear to have been
justified in what he did. And he had to come up with a good excuse for
getting out of that car. And so he came up with the story about the street
sign, which I agree. And then at some point in the tape also, he says I
have add, so I don`t remember things well. I`m sorry, but this is a place
where you lived for three years, you walk your dog, you know these streets.
I`m not buying that.
I`m also not buying this, I have to say. He was sitting in his car
with the lights on, the engine running, and he claimed that Trayvon is
staring him down and that Trayvon makes a big white circle and is about to
approach him in his SUV? Who would do that? All he has to do is gun the
engine to run Trayvon do. I mean, it is the story doesn`t hold together if
you look at it for one second. Now, it`s not as dramatic an impact as the
witnesses last week who gave direct evidence, but this circumstantial kind
of evidence, inconsistent statements, when you put it all together, and the
jury is required to do that, not parse little pieces out, but look at the
entire picture, it is extremely compelling.
SHARPTON: John, your response to that. You are skeptic. You were
the devil`s advocate before.
BURRIS: Yes, I`m still the devil`s advocate, although I do think that
Mr. Zimmerman had more issues to deal with. But at the grand scheme of
thing, if you`re the defense lawyer here, what you don`t want to do is put
Mr. Zimmerman on the stand for all the reasons I think everyone has said
over all the various programs. And I don`t know that the evidence is
coming in so far is strong enough that it would justify putting him on.
And I will tell you at the end, and when Serino made that last statement,
that he thought he was telling the truth and the statements around that,
those will have dramatic impact on the juries. Because now withstanding.
anything else that had been done at the end of the day, this very
suspicious homicide detective who is doing this person, then said I thought
he was telling the truth. And that to me override as lot of the areas that
appear to be inconsistent. A jury will have to wade through that. I`m not
convinced that he was telling the truth about it. But if I`m the defense
lawyer, I`m saying --
SHARPTON: Well, John, John, John, let`s be fair here. Serino can`t
say that I thought he was lying because then the whole world will say then
why did you guys not arrest him. And people have to get a special
prosecutor. Serino is not saving George, he is saving himself. For him to
have said he thought he was lying would then say that they were wrong not
to press charges, which they did.
BURRIS: Well, you know, he always had the view that he should have
been prosecuted. Now, I`m only saying as a matter of a --
SHARPTON: Well, he can`t have it both ways. Then, if he thought he
was telling the truth, why would he want him prosecuted?
BURRIS: Well, he should have -- if he thought he was telling the
truth, then you`re right, maybe he shouldn`t have been prosecuting. But at
the same time, he could also say I thought he was telling the truth, but I
also thought this was a voluntary manslaughter type case and not a second-
degree murder case.
BLOOM: And you know what? This is a criminal trial. This is the
time to tell the truth. I`m sorry. It appears to me that detective Serino
did think he should be prosecuted. He is now working the midnight shift,
by the way, not a detective anymore. Supposedly of his own choice. This
would be the time.
SHARPTON: I agree.
But Faith, let me ask you this question because this is what I think
there is one thing that Lisa says and John that is very true. That I think
a lot of people, my colleagues in the media is missing. This is a murder
You have a young man, George Zimmerman charged with murder two. Who
had a gun, who we learned Friday when everybody thought was so bad, was
studying martial arts three times a week. You`re telling me you are a
watchman that was training in Martial Arts, knew you had a gun, and you
couldn`t do anything but shoot to kill this guy? A 17-year-old kid can
come and hit you two or three times and the only thing you can do is try to
kill them? What happened to your Martial Arts training? What happened to
your preparation? You don`t think the prosecution might bring this up in
JENKINS: Well, of course. But apparently he maybe wasn`t a good
martial arts student. I don`t know how well he s doing in the class.
Apparently not very well because he said he had to use the gun to defend
himself. But that`s going to be the ultimate question here. His claim of
self-defense and the story he tells is literally too perfect. This is
someone who knows how to craft facts. This is what the prosecution is
going to argue to make a great self-defense claim. Because just in case
you did not believe w fearful for my life, he adds Trayvon Martin told me
you`re going to die tonight. It`s like something out of a movie.
SHARPTON: But Lisa, when we look at the lead investigator Chris
Serino, he also said George Zimmerman`s injuries were not that significant.
Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O`MARA, ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE LAWYER: You had an issue of whether or
not his rendition of getting hit dozens of times were supported by the
forensic evidence of his injuries, correct?
SERINO: In my view, yes. They were lacking.
O`MARA: Would you agree that there were numerous different bruising
and injuries on both sides of his scalp first?
SERINO: There were injuries. However, based on the way I would view
them as a major crime scenes investigator who has seen injuries a lot worse
than that, I didn`t consider them life threat engine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So he doesn`t have life-threatening injuries. He doesn`t
say on the tapes that he thought he had life threatening injuries. So you
have an unarmed, young man here who was not committing a crime. The
prosecutor`s got to argue that there were no injuries, he never told us he
thought he had those kind of injuries. The only thing he refers to is he
claims that Trayvon said you`re going to die. But he never said he thought
he was going to die. All this builds up in argument r why they with murder
two, wouldn`t it?
BLOOM: Well, you have to believe, if you believe Zimmerman`s story,
that Trayvon Martin threatened his life and hand was reaching down for the
gun. That`s his story, which if you believe the prosecution, is a very
convenient story, because nobody heard it o than George Zimmerman, nobody
could see that hand reaching down.
And you bring up a very important legal issue of proportionality.
Every time somebody is in a fight, you cannot pull out a gun and shoot and
kill someone. So even if you are getting hit, even if you are on the
ground in a scuffle, even if somebody says some words you don`t like, you
cannot take out a gun and shoot unless you are in imminent, means great
fear of immediate injury or death.
SHARPTON: Let`s take a break, legal panel, please stay with me. We
have a more to talk about.
Ahead, more on the crucial piece of evidence. Mr. Zimmerman`s walk-
through with police the morning after the killing. Why it reveals apparent
inconsistencies in his other accounts.
Much more on the compelling testimony from the Sanford police
investigator who questioned Zimmerman the night of the tragedy.
Plus, how might the jury react to hearing Mr. Zimmerman talk about,
quote, "these guys" in an interview played court today.
And remember, friend or foe, I want to know. Send me your e-mails.
"Reply Al" is coming. Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Prosecutors today went after the inconsistencies in George
Zimmerman`s account of the night he shot Trayvon Martin. We`ll see the
SHARPTON: Today at the George Zimmerman trial, the prosecution tried
to highlight some apparent inconsistencies. In his various accounts of
what happened on the night of Trayvon Martin`s death, for example, this
morning the jury heard Zimmerman`s first interview with police from the
night of the shooting. Where he says Trayvon Martin suddenly jumped out at
him from the bushes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIMMERMAN: So I was walking back through to where my car was and he
jumped out from the bushes. And he said what the (bleep) problem, homie.
SINGLETON: From what you guess, he is somewhere hiding in the bushes
when he jumps out?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Trayvon Martin jumped out at him from the bushes. Mr.
Zimmerman seems pretty sure on that point. He says it several times. But
when he led police in a walk-through on the scene the very next day, there
are few bushes to be seen. And Mr. Zimmerman is no longer sure where
Trayvon Martin was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIMMERMAN: I was walking back to my truck, and then when I got to
right about here, he yelled from behind me and to the side of me, he said,
you, you got a problem. I turned around and said no, I don`t have a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where was he at?
ZIMMERMAN: He was about there, but he was walking towards me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming this direction here?
ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir. Like I said, I was already past that, so I
didn`t see exactly where he came from. But he was about where you were.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: First, George Zimmerman says Trayvon Martin was hiding in
the bushes. The next day Mr. Zimmerman says he didn`t see exactly where he
Back with me now, faith Jenkins, Lisa Bloom, Marcia Clark, and John
Marcia, how much of this kind of inconsistency undermines Zimmerman`s
version of events?
CLARK: Boy, this really does, I have to say, it really does. And he
-- there was another one as well where he was talking about how at first he
said he saw Trayvon Martin running and then suddenly he was walking
leisurely. And that kind of thing is very important too because what he
saw of Trayvon Martin`s behavior is very important to explain the motive
for him to pursue Trayvon Martin to make the call to begin with, as a
matter of fact.
And I want to point out something else. There is a huge inconsistency
also in his description. He says Trayvon Martin of the actual attack,
Trayvon Martin straddles him and then repeatedly pounds his head into the
ground, and then repeatedly throws blows into his face. But the injuries
are not consistent with that. There is -- there are lacerations, a couple
of small ones on the back of Zimmerman`s head. But those are consistent
with someone who gets knocked down with their head. It`s not consistent
with someone who is getting pounded repeatedly into the ground. And I`m
sorry, but the injury to the nose is not consistent with someone raining
blows down on him, which was described by Zimmerman as well as by the
In addition, Zimmerman says, claims that Trayvon Martin`s holding him
down, and then holding his nose in his mouth at some point. But he is able
to peel Trayvon Martin`s hand away, and free his other hand to pull out the
gun. That doesn`t sound like overpowered.
Plus, one more thing, Reverend, one more thing I got to say this.
This is a semiautomatic. This means that the safety has to have been off
at the time he pulls the trigger. He pulled the safety off. You know, he
is the one who through that safety off. Why did he do that? That`s
SHARPTON: John, how does he do all of that in this short amount of
time, pummeled, had his head banged, Martin goes for the gun, and he has
time he can unlock the safety and shoot. How can you do that all within a
matter of minutes?
BURRIS: Well, it doesn`t make any sense in terms of a description
that we had not only from the other witnesses and from himself. And along
with the inconsistency to the level of beating. So, I think this along
with the fact that he claims he was confronted, when you put that against
the testimony of Rachel Jeantel, you have this real question about who have
is pursuer and who is not. And if you don`t believe he was, in fact, the
person who was doing the following as opposed to being the confronting
person, then you have real questions believing in the testimony around the
beating. So then, you have to take what the independent witnesses say.
And what the independent witnesses do give you is a fight. They don`t give
the kind of fight he has described. And so, he does have some real issues
there`s. It`s going to be for the jury to kind of decide those points.
But, certainly the inconsistencies on the major issues for me, jumping out,
running, chasing, it doesn`t help this cause at all.
BLOOM: Can I pick up on the Rachel Jeantel point? Because we can
start putting together some of the evidence we have heard so far. We know
that she was talking on the phone with Trayvon Martin as he was walking
along. And they are talking about is the all-star game on tonight, which
in fact it was. And there are a couple of teenagers talking for hours and
hours all day, sometimes the call dropped. They pick it up again. And he
has gone to get an Arizona fruit drink and a skittle. So, that`s Trayvon
Martin`s frame of mind.
And to say he has jumped out of the bushes and assaulted George
Zimmerman really does not fit with at that at all there is no evidence.
SHARPTON: Especially if there were no bushes there, but go ahead.
BLOOM: Well, and in fact, I would say for somebody who is being
racially profiled, to say that they jumped out of the bushes is a little
bit consistent with that. I mean, you know, you think about where his
JENKINS: And also, he is making that statement because he wants the
police to believe I was caught completely by surprise. He jumped out of
the bushes. I was sucker punched. I have no responsibility in this
whatsoever. Trayvon was absolutely the initial aggressor.
To me, this is one of the most significant inconsistencies and lies
because when they meet, when they meet, that is the one crucial moment.
And if he is lying about that, if he is inconsistent about that, there is a
SHARPTON: But there is also here where you have in the first
interview with police on the night of the shooting, Zimmerman claims the
dispatcher told him, I raised is last segment, that he should find Trayvon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIMMERMAN: Right in there. And they said what direction did he go?
And I said I don`t know. I can`t see him. They said, can you get to
somewhere where you can see him? And I said yes, I can. So I backed out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, here you have not only the consistencies, Marcia
Clark, you have him totally fabricating that the dispatcher told him can
you see him, would you go see if you can see where he went. And we have
heard the dispatcher`s tape. The opposite was told. The dispatcher told
him not to follow him. We don`t need you to do that.
CLARK: Exactly. And that was the first one that really jumped out at
me. And I read that and thought, what? That`s exactly the opposite.
Well, that tells you right away. He is setting this up. He is setting
this whole story up from very beginning to make himself sound as though he
is the innocent party and he is just following police orders. And he is
not trying to track Trayvon Martin down at all, showing I think a guilty
conscience about the fact and awareness that he did track down Trayvon
Martin. And of course we know from Rachel Jeantel`s testimony Trayvon is
setting get off me, get off me. You know, that it`s very clear who is the
pursuer and who is the aggressor in this confrontation?
SHARPTON: John, I mean, when you bring this all together, as I`m sure
the prosecutor will do in summation, is this significant? You`ve got these
inconsistencies. You`ve got him saying blatantly saying that the
dispatcher told him to follow the guy when the opposite has happened.
Isn`t this significant if it`s all strung together?
BURRIS: I mean, the prosecutor having been one myself, you can make a
very strong argument on this case that Mr. Zimmerman started this whole
process out. He in fact has lied consistently about what he did and why he
did it. And at the end of the day, he is lying about how the confrontation
took place, and you have other evidence to corroborate that when you have
Ms. Jeantel even though people want belittle her testimony. She is so
solid on a core event and it had the ring of truth to it. And so, the
prosecutor can make those kind of arguments.
Then when you get to that point, you have this person as the pursuer,
this person is armed with a gun, he ultimately kills this kid. And he
claims the justification for it that he was getting beat when he was in
fact the initial pursuer. He never retreated. He never got away from him.
He never said I`m sorry, I`m not involved in this, backed away. And so, as
the aggressor, the prosecutor can make the argument but for his aggressive
conduct, this never would have happened.
SHARPTON: Now, you also have the situation where he said that had
spread Trayvon Martin`s hands out once he had shot him. And because he
didn`t know if he had something in his hands, and he spread them out to
make sure he had nothing that he was going to assault him with, Faith. But
then we find that Trayvon Martin`s hands were folded underneath him, and
that he had not spread out his hands, which is another total fabrication
JENKINS: Right. And some people say well, that`s minor. Perhaps he
didn`t remember. I don`t think any of these things were minor. He made
these statements within hours and days after this incident occurred, where
these facts would be the freshest in mind.
The truth is the truth. It does not change. He gave different
accounts of this event and the way it happened. And that`s extremely
problematic for him. And the prosecutors are going to stand up and they
are going to outline every single thing he said that was inconsistent that
he could not back up, that he changed. And that is going to be very
powerful arguments in their summation.
SHARPTON: Well, I`ve heard a very good legal minds say that both of
them want it both ways. If it`s inconsistent, the other side it doesn`t
mean anything, it means a lot. If it`s on your side, it doesn`t mean
anything. Lisa Bloom said that.
Faith, good day or bad day for whom?
JENKINS: I think this was a very good day for the prosecution. They
had to put in the statements. This means that Zimmerman probably will not
take the witness stand, but they highlighted inconsistencies that I think
they have to do in order to get a conviction.
SHARPTON: Lisa, good day, bad day?
BLOOM: Best day for the prosecution so far, because we`re getting to
George Zimmerman`s story of exactly what happened, and the inconsistencies
in that story, some of which really sound like intentional fabrications.
SHARPTON: Marcia Clark, good day or bad day for whom?
CLARK: Good day for the prosecution, I have to say. Here is the
thing, Reverend. All of the inconsistencies are consistently pointing.
They`re the kind of inconsistencies that always seem to go in favor of
George Zimmerman`s innocence. So the extent he has fabricated, it`s always
to paint himself in the innocent light. And that to me shows a guilty
SHARPTON: John Burris, good day or bad day for whom?
BURRIS: I think it`s the best day for the prosecution that they`ve
had. They`ve had a lot of difficult days. Even their own witnesses have
turned out to be better for the defense. Today that did not happen. The
sergeant was a good witness for them. He maintained himself as a good
witness throughout. So it was good day for them.
SHARPTON: Faith Jenkins, Lisa bloom, Marcia Clark, John Burris, thank
you all for your time tonight.
JENKINS: Thank you.
BURRIS: Thank you.
CLARK: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, a dramatic moment in court today. New audio
from Mr. Zimmerman played reveals more use of the phrase "these guys." How
might the jury react?
Plus, my thoughts on President Obama`s emotional visit to Nelson
Mandela`s Robben Island jail cell. Stay with us.
SHARPTON: They always get away. Today the jury heard that audio from
George Zimmerman`s first police interview the night he shot Trayvon Martin.
What did he mean? And what might it mean for this trial? That`s next.
SHARPTON: The prosecution is trying to prove a charge of second-
degree murder by arguing that George Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin.
Here is Mr. Zimmerman in his first interview with police after the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, TRAYVON MARTIN SHOOTER: There has been a few times
where I`ve seen a suspicious person in the neighborhood and we call the
police on the non-emergency line. And these guys always get away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: These guys always get away. It was similar language he
used in his call to police earlier that night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIMMERMAN: He`s coming to check me out. He`s got something in his
hands. I don`t know what his deal is.
DISPATCHER: OK. Just let me know if this guy does anything. Yes.
We got them on the way. Just let me know if this guy does anything else.
ZIMMERMAN: OK. These (bleep), they always get away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now is former Florida homicide prosecutor Ken
Padowitz, now a defense attorney. Ken, first of all, thanks for being here
KEN PADOWITZ, FORMER FLORIDA HOMICIDE PROSECUTOR: Thanks for having
SHARPTON: "They always get away," these guys always get away. Why is
Mr. Zimmerman`s state of mind so important in this second-degree murder
PADOWITZ: Well, this is everything. This is where the North Pole and
the South Pole come together. We have it on the 911 tape, and now we have
the same phrase heard again. This is a window into George Zimmerman`s
head. We can`t take a knife and cut it open and look inside. But he is
just provided us that transparency, where we know what he is thinking. And
the prosecution`s main thing they have to prove in this case for second-
degree murder, the elements for that charge is a depraved mind.
They have to show this ill will, spite, evil intent. This is part of
the jury instructions that the jury is going to hear from the judge and
giving him the elements for second-degree murder. Depraved mind is
everything. And those phrases, twice now from Mr. Zimmerman, they support
that notion from the prosecution that he has his depraved mind, that this
is in fact a second-degree murder case.
SHARPTON: Now the prosecution is also trying to show that Zimmerman
saw Trayvon as a suspect. Detective Singleton read part of Zimmerman`s
written statement to police where, again using word that he was a suspect
that night. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The suspect emerged from darkness and circled my
vehicle. The dispatcher told me not to follow the suspect. The suspect
emerged from the darkness and said -- you got a problem.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He uses the word suspect to refer to Trayvon
Martin. Have you uttered those words or have you inform him in any way
that`s the word he is supposed to use to refer to Trayvon Martin?
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: When police officers are talking about a person
they suspect of doing a criminal -- of being a criminal, committing a crime
that did they refer to them as suspect?
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Yes, we do, if we suspect them of a crime,
they`re a suspect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, calling Trayvon a suspect, Ken, repeatedly in a
written statement, what does that show?
PADOWITZ: Well, again, that goes to the prosecution`s intention of
trying to show that he has a depraved mind. I mean, that`s the phrase for
today. Depraved mind. And if you think that a teenager walking with a can
of pop and some skittles, you know, if you`re saying that they`re always
getting away and you`re looking at this person as a suspect, that shows
what the prosecution is trying to get to the jury, depraved mind. Mr.
Zimmerman has what it takes under Florida law to be prosecuted and to be
found guilty of first-degree murder is what the prosecution is trying to
tell this jury. The evidence supports it from the own mouth of the
SHARPTON: Now, mind you, there had been no crime committed. There
had been nothing he was suspected for. So what would you possibly be
repeatedly writing, he was a suspect, when we`re not even saying, here is a
crime, is this the one that did it? There is no crime that has been
committed other than the killing of Trayvon Martin, who is at this point
dead and you`re calling him a suspect.
PADOWITZ: Exactly. And that`s why it goes to that depraved mind
element, which is so, so important. And here the defense is alleging self-
defense. And remember the Florida self-defense instruction says that
Zimmerman has to reasonably believe that he is in eminent death facing
eminent death where eminent great bodily harm. But you have to read that
law in context of everything that occurred out there at the scene.
That he was being followed, that he was being stalked, that he was
being looked at as a suspect when he was doing nothing wrong. So when we
take all these things together, the jury is going to have to use that self-
defense instruction, but also look at the evidence of the depraved mind of
George Zimmerman. And that`s going to be very strong evidence for the
SHARPTON: Ken Padowitz, thank you for being here tonight. And we
will certainly be following this. A big day tomorrow. We`ll be right
SHARPTON: Republicans in 21 states are blocking the expansion of
Medicaid. And tonight it`s about to become 22. Today Pennsylvania
Republicans took action to kill Medicaid expansion. They are literally
turning down healthcare money for the poor. It`s just not right. So we`re
taking action. We`re proud to partner with the National Association of
Free Clinics this Wednesday on July 3rd. We`ll be live at the free clinic
in New Orleans.
It takes a huge team effort to provide these free clinics, and we need
your help. Please donate. If everyone hearing my voice right now donated
just $1, just $1, it would make a difference to so many families. Please,
please go to urgentcare.msnbc.com. With your help, we can make a
difference and get health care to so many Americans that are really in
SHARPTON: Texas Governor Rick Perry is determined to wage a war on
women`s rights. But he`s got a big fight on his hands. Today thousands
gathered at the state capitol to protest the massive anti-choice Bill Perry
is trying to ram through a special session of Congress. The bill was
already defeated last week, thanks to an 11-hour filibuster led by State
Senator Wendy Davis. The outcry thousands of pro-choice protesters.
Apparently Governor Perry doesn`t think that counts. So today he is
pushing it a second time. And Democrats are ready.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE SEN. WENDY DAVIS (D), TEXAS: Politicians who are in control in
this capitol have forgotten their duty to represent all of us. Folks who
work hard every day. We need people in politics who love this place as
much as the rest of us do. People who want to build a better Texas rather
than a better political resume.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The determination that we`re seeing in Texas is needed now
more than ever, because all over this country, GOP governors are signing
strict new anti-women legislation into law. Last night Ohio Governor
Kasich signed legislation that would severely limit women`s reproductive
rights. See any women in that picture? Yes, neither do I. But Wendy
Davis and the people of Texas have ignited an activist fire, and we`re
ready to fight for women`s rights across the country.
Joining me now is Texas, democratic Texas State Representative
Senfronia Thompson and Salon`s Joan Walsh. Thank you both for being on the
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Thanks, Rev.
STATE REP. SENFRONIA THOMPSON (D), TEXAS: Thank you for inviting me.
SHARPTON: Representative Thompson, you were at the rally today along
with Wendy Davis. What was the message for Governor Perry?
THOMPSON: I think the message is that we don`t understand why men
cannot understand that we have rights of our own, and they shouldn`t be
trampled upon. I know that men understand that we can make decisions for
ourselves, and it`s not necessary for them to make them for us. And we are
not going to be bullied. And that is the message. We will not be bullied.
Our constitution rights would not be trampled upon, and we`re not going to
take it sitting down.
SHARPTON: Now, Joan, we see Governor Perry making this move. Last
night Governor Kasich signed into law, a law that is extreme, a law that
says, rape crisis counselors face new restrictions when talking about
abortions with rape victims. Women seeking legal abortions must undergo
medically unnecessary ultrasound, even if they don`t want one. And their
choice and their doctor doesn`t recommend one. And they must pay for these
ultrasounds on top of that. It`s extreme stuff, Joan.
WALSH: It`s unbelievable stuff, Reverend Al. And we`re seeing it
over and over. But I want to point out, you know, and Representative
Thompson knows this better than I do. I mean, we our side is being accused
of being anti-democratic. But these bills, Governor Perry called a special
session to get these bills through that could not get through during the
regular session. John Kasich is signing -- this is a budget bill. These
are amendments attached to a budget bill. So they`re not doing this in a
very orthodox way either. They know that they are on the wrong side of
these issues. They know that women are rising up against them. But
they`re doing it anyway.
SHARPTON: Joan is right. But Representative Thompson, Governor Perry
had some real harsh words for pro-choice activist, pro rights activist who
gathered at the state capitol last week. Listen to this and give me your
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: The question is, are you going to a small
group of people take over the process, an unruly mob, to keep democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: An unruly mob.
THOMPSON: Well, let me tell you what my response is. That people
came out, and they have a right to redress their government. I think the
first amendment of the United States constitution gives us that right. And
they let their voices be heard. And they want to make sure that the
governor understands that they are a part of this society, that they have
rights, and those rights shouldn`t be trampled upon by the bubbles in
Texas. And they have a right to be heard. And he is the governor of all
of the people and not just some of the people.
SHARPTON: Now, this new law would bring the amount of abortion
clinics in the state down from 42 to just five to do new restrictions. And
that`s a big change, Representative Thompson. And it amazes me, Joan, how
it seems the Republicans just love democracy, right, unruly mob, special
sessions, put budget amendments in to change laws.
THOMPSON: Right. But they`re trying to take away our legal
constitutionally protected rights. I mean, we all here know that we cannot
get rid of abortion. All they are doing is getting rid of safe and legal
abortion. When you go down to five clinics, five providers in a state as
large as Texas, Reverend Al, you are basically saying to women that they
cannot exercise their choice. You`re making it so onerous, that this is no
longer a choice for them. And this is their goal.
SHARPTON: Now, during the special session, the governor has a lot of
power in that state. Representative Thompson, what is the next step?
THOMPSON: The next step is on to my role, the hearings on the bill
would start about 3:30 in the afternoon and go to midnight. And all
persons who are not able to testify by midnight will not be heard. Those
bills then would be sent to the floor of the house on Tuesday coming next
week. And action would be taken by the Texas House of Representatives and
then go to the Senate, the Texas Senate for its action.
SHARPTON: So the fight goes on. And this is about rights. This is
not about people having to do anything. It`s about people having the
choice and having the right to make their choice, Representative Thompson.
THOMPSON: The constitution of the United States give that right to
them. It has been interpreted by the supreme court of the United States.
And the women know their rights, and they`re not going to let them be
trampled upon. They are not going to be bullied by this governor, by the
lieutenant governor, or by anyone else. Women refuse to be bullied in the
state of Texas. And we will see them at the polls in 2010.
SHARPTON: See them at the polls. Now, Joan, quickly on that one,
isn`t this the party that was trying to get away from Todd Akin and all of
SHARPTON: I mean, have they learned their lesson?
WALSH: They haven`t learned their lesson. They can`t get away from
Todd Akin because they are Todd Akin. But we`re seeing that there are
great Texas Democrats who deserve our support, and that`s the best lesson
of this last week of activism.
SHARPTON: State Representative Thompson and Joan Walsh, thank you
both for your time this evening.
THOMPSON: Thank you for inviting me.
SHARPTON: President Obama`s emotional visit to Nelson Mandela`s
prison cell on Robben Island. That`s next.
SHARPTON: It`s time for "Reply Al." Keep sending me all your
questions. Friend or foe, I want to know.
Elaine writes, "Night after night I watch your fight with the tireless
energy and the injustices with words and actions that try to diminish or
eliminate our rights. You do it with grace and determination. Where does
your unrelenting energy come from?"
Well, Elaine, it`s not easy. But I`m motivated every day in some way
to keep pushing forward. Let me give you an example. A scene like this
really keeps me inspired. President Obama over the weekend visited the
jail cell on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life
in prison. Eighteen years. The president reflected on that powerful
moment and later shared why Mandela`s legacy is so important to us all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Like billions all over the world, I and the American people
have drawn strength from the example of this extraordinary leader and the
nation that he changed. Nelson Mandela showed us that one man`s courage
can move the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: One man`s courage can move the world. The courageous work
of Nelson Mandela and others like him helped give me and other activists
energy to keep on fighting. I remember working with various leader, great
leaders that aspired to greatness. They all were committed. I worked
closely with Martin Luther King III. I think of how his father lost his
life. We`ll never be a Nelson Mandela or a Martin Luther King.
Most of us will never approach anywhere near a level of greatness.
But we all can do something. I can imagine 27 years in jail like Mandela.
I`ve been arrested for marches, but nothing like that. But if we can make
our little contribution count, that`s what is important, and that`s what
inspires me. If you have a question or comment, please e-mail me at
email@example.com. Remember, friend or foe, I want to know.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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