July 17, 2013
Guests: Faith Jenkins; Paul Henderson; Ken Padowitz; Marcia Clark, Goldie
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris. And thanks to you
for tuning in.
Tonight`s lead, a divided jury. Four days after George Zimmerman was
set free, cracks are appearing in the jury that brought back a unanimous
verdict of not guilty.
Last night in an interview on CNN, the woman known as Juror B-37 said
she`d thought Trayvon Martin was partially responsible for his own death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUROR B-37, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN MURDER TRIAL: I believe he played a huge
role in his death. He could have -- when George confronted him and he
could have walked away and gone home. He didn`t have to do whatever he did
to come back and be in a fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: In an earlier portion of that interview, she also seemed to
accept George Zimmerman`s account of what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUROR B-37: I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the
right place. I think pretty much it happened the way George said it
happened. George had a right to protect himself at that point. I had no
doubt George feared for his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Immediately after that interview aired last night, four
other jurors released a statement saying, quote, "the opinions of Juror B-
37 expressed on the Anderson Cooper show were her own and not in any
representative of the jurors listed below." They added, "the death of a
teenager weighed heavily on our hearts, but in the end we did what the law
required us to do."
Juror B-37 responded this morning with her own statement. Quote, "for
reasons of my own, I need to speak alone." She went on to say quote, "no
other family should be forced to endure what the Martin family has endured.
My prayers are with Trayvon`s parents for their loss, as they have always
Tonight, all this deepens the mystery surrounding the trial. What was
going on in that jury room? How did they reach a verdict? And were they
ever really on the same page?
With me now is my all star panel legal prosecutor Faith -- former
prosecutor Faith Jenkins, defense attorney Ken Padowitz and veteran
prosecutor, Paul Henderson.
Thank you for all being here. Let me ask --
PAUL HENDERSON ,PROSECUTOR: Absolutely.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, what do you make of these jurors releasing
their statements so soon after Juror B-37`s interview?
FAITH JENKINS, FORMER CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I think B-37 spoke a
lot about what happened in the jury room and their discussions in the jury
room and made some very strong statements. Because based on what she said,
they didn`t just reject the fact that the prosecution didn`t prove the case
beyond a reasonable doubt. She fully accepted the defense`s story and
George Zimmerman`s story and his statements even though he didn`t take the
For me, it appeared that she either had a predisposition to believe
the defense before she ever heard the evidence or the defense did a really,
really good job. I think only she knows the answer to that. But I thought
the interview was very telling.
SHARPTON: Now Ken, it was interesting to me that she said that
Trayvon could have gone home even after George Zimmerman confronted him.
What was interesting is she seemed to put the responsibility on Trayvon
Martin and she also conceded that she believed that, in fact, Zimmerman was
the one that confronted him or started it which is very interesting given
the verdict she came with. And when you deal with the fact that she cited
stand your ground, I mean, didn`t Trayvon Martin have the right then not to
retreat if you`re dealing with a Stand Your Ground kind of thought which
she gave in the interview? It was an interesting statement given other
things she said in the interview.
KEN PADOWITZ, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, this juror clearly bought the
hook line and sinker statements by George Zimmerman. And she bought all of
it. It`s clear from her statements. We don`t have to speculate. And
based on those statements, she believed everything Zimmerman had to say.
So her belief was that therefore the responsibility or some of the
responsibility lied with the kid who was just a few days earlier had been
16 years old and had been walking talking on his cell phone and had a bag
So, you know, the problem with this juror as we went back to jury
selection, the fact this juror said that peaceful protesting was rioting
should have been a clear indication to the prosecution this juror had to be
struck. But the juror was not. This is what happened in history, and we
have this verdict.
But clearly these statements are from someone who buys every statement
by the defendant and that`s one of the failings of the prosecution. That
they put these statements into evidence on their side of the case. Those
statements should never have come in. They were hearsay statements and not
SHARPTON: Let me go to you, Paul, because I want to ask another
thing. And again, the jury has spoken and we accept the jury`s verdict.
But, she has come out and said things that I think we`ve got to discuss
since she decided to discuss it. She said and I played it, that Trayvon
Martin played a huge part, her words, not mine. Her emphasis, not mine. A
huge role in his own death. How do you react to that? I mean, how does
HENDERSON: Well, it makes it clear to me what her perspective is and
what her approach was in this case. I`m going to take it a little step
farther than what we were just talking about and point out the fact that
specifically and talking about the Stand Your Ground. That she says she
used and the rest of the jurors used as one of the tools to help them
figure out the law. It wasn`t just an issue that Stand Your Ground law
existed. It wasn`t only applied to George Zimmerman and not to Trayvon
Martin at all. So it wasn`t an indication that could have gone 50/50. And
it wasn`t just that she adopted the defense perspective. It was that
perspective was excluded from association to Trayvon Martin. That he had
no right to exercise Stand Your Ground. That he had no right when
confronted, her words, to do anything and then when -- and you hear her
when she`s talking about Trayvon Martin in a very judgmental way from
things that she inferred throughout the trial saying that he was mad.
Saying that he was responsible for his own death.
It just makes it very clear to me the limbs that she used as she
listened to the evidence and she heard the testimony. And it makes it very
challenging, I think, for that prosecution team to have broken through that
perspective and broken through that approach to have really identified what
the facts were in a way that would have been persuasive for a different
SHARPTON: Let me bring in former prosecutor Marcia Clark. She`s also
author of "killer ambition."
Marcia, thank you for joining us. Let me pose the same question to
you. Juror B-37 says Trayvon Martin played a huge role in his own death.
How do you respond to that?
MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I think it`s really clear that she
bought the defense hook line and sinker. She blames Trayvon Martin for
having fought with George Zimmerman and therefore believes that George
Zimmerman had a right to shoot him. And it shows to me that she threw out
so much of the prosecution`s testimony especially that of Rachel Jeantel.
What happened to that?
Rachel Jeantel testified that she overheard Trayvon Martin say why you
following me for. Heard somebody else who had to be Zimmerman say what are
you doing here. And then later Trayvon saying get off me, get off me.
What does that mean to her? Where did that go?
That girl was completely dismissed by her as though it never happened,
so it seems to me she completely dismissed Rachel Jeantel, a pivotal
witness for the prosecution. And of course, if you do that, if you dismiss
the prosecution`s evidence especially key evidence like that, then else are
you going to do? You`re going to buy the defense. This juror struck me as
somebody who came in with a defense bias from the start and then stuck to
that agenda all the way through the trial.
SHARPTON: And Faith, what was interesting is she said after George
confronted him. She not even debating that George Zimmerman started the
confrontation. So, why would she think he didn`t have the right to
respond? I mean, to say he should have just gone home.
JENKINS: Right. There`s a certain level of what she said, sort of
statement, there is a certain level of denial in what she said because she
also said that race was not an issue here at all, it was not even discussed
in the jury room. And if George Zimmerman had seen anyone of any race, he
probably would have stopped them. And anyone watching this trial and
looking at the statements that George Zimmerman made and his history about
the young black men he called the police on numerous times knows that`s
simply not true.
So, the view that the way that she looked at this trial and she looked
at the evidence, there`s a -- she accepted the defense outright and she
also was in denial about certain things.
SHARPTON: Now, Ken, when you also hear Juror B-37, she said she only
had one option as a juror. And that was to acquit George Zimmerman. Watch
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUROR B-37: They gave us the laws and we went by the laws. And
that`s how we found him innocent. They would have given us manslaughter
and everything that was attached to it, it would have come out the exact
same way. It was just so confusing what went with what and what we could
apply to what. And after hours and hours of deliberating of the law and
reading it over and over and over again, we decided there`s just no way --
other place to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, she said it was confusing. It was the law. I mean,
was it bad law or bad lawyering, Ken?
PADOWITZ: Well, it is a combination of both. I mean, there is
clearly some major errors the prosecution made in this case. And you have
bad law. You have the Stand Your Ground law which I have said repeatedly
in your program is an abomination. It`s a horrible law. It brings us back
to the old west. And you know, you shoot to kill and ask questions later.
So, it`s bad law and very bad strategy on the part of the prosecution by
putting in George Zimmerman`s statements, by telling the jury that race had
nothing to do with this.
I mean, we have to respect this verdict. But clearly the juror did
have another alternative. They could have given some weight or zero weight
to George Zimmerman. They didn`t have to give him all the weight. That
was their decision and that`s what we give jurors. We give them the power
and to how much weight goes with evidence. But, they could have discounted
George Zimmerman`s testimony and they could have come up with a different
SHARPTON: Now Paul, how do you take the fact that when she said the
statement about Trayvon Martin had a huge role in what happened that the
other jurors, all but one, came out immediately denouncing her. What it
this? Does that say anything to you about --
HENDERSON: It absolutely does.
HENDERSON: It absolutely does. So, it says two things to me. One,
it makes it very clear that those jurors felt strong enough that they
needed to be proactive in making sure that they distanced themselves from
the communications that she`s made so publicly. And the fact that they are
emphasizing the fact that they were more sympathetic to the victim, I think
that`s very telling and important because it`s clear that that`s part of
what the message is that they want people to understand. That they were
more sympathetic than what they heard their fellow juror communicating when
she was on television.
SHARPTON: All right. My legal panel is going to stay with me. Lots
more to talk about.
Coming up, who is she? We have heard from five of the six jurors.
But what about the final one? Was she the holdout looking to convict
Plus, my interview with Rachel Jeantel. She knew the Zimmerman
defense team for months before the trial. How she says they tried to fight
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL JEANTEL, WITNESS, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN MURDER TRIAL: The defense
never wanted me there. Nest way to say it, they had a plan for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: You`re not going to want to miss the rest of what she has
And remember, friend or foe, I want to know. Send me your e-mails.
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join the conversation that keeps going long after the show.
SHARPTON: We`re back with an essential question from the George
Zimmerman trial. How did a jury that was divided at the start ultimately
decide to set him free? Juror B-37 said initially they were split right
down the middle. Three voted for not guilty. Two voted for manslaughter.
And one voted for second degree murder.
But after hours of debate, Juror B-37 told CNN that they convinced the
woman who voted for second degree murder to shift her vote to manslaughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUROR B-37: It became very confusing. We had had stuff thrown at us.
We had the second degree murder charge, the manslaughter charge, then we
had self-defense, Stand Your Ground. And I think there was one other one.
But the manslaughter case, we actually had got it down to manslaughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But the jury was still divided. And that one juror was
still convinced of George Zimmerman`s guilt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUROR B-37: There was a holdout. And probably -- well, we had
another vote. And then everybody voted. Put it in the little tin. We had
a little tin, folded the papers and put in the vote. And she was the last
one to vote. And it took probably another 30 minutes for her to decide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: This holdout was the last to vote. But she finally gave
into the majority opinion and decided to return a verdict of not guilty.
So Paul, there was a split in the jury. Your reaction?
HENDERSON: You know, as a prosecutor I know the prosecutors that
handled this case were listening to that and looking at that and shaking
their heads in frustration. Because if they could have had hang up that
juror, or have that person hold out longer to have gotten to a mistrial and
then had another chance at this case, I know that`s got to sting knowing
they had someone held down for so long that was finally worn down or came
over to the other side. And I know that that`s how they heard that
information when the juror was talking about having someone on their panel
that couldn`t make a decision and that was holding out and that eventually
changed their mind and voted with the rest of the jurors.
SHARPTON: Marcia, Juror B-37 also talks about the tough jury
deliberations and reveals one juror actually wanted to leave the jury room.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUROR B-37: It was tough. We all pretty much get along. As far as
sometimes to let other people talk, you know, one time and then have
somebody else talk. Instead of adding your comments to whatever they were
saying, trying to help figure out what we were trying to figure out. At
times I thought we might have a hung jury because one of them said they
were going to leave. And we convinced them, no, you can`t leave. You
can`t do this. You have been in this too long to walk out now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: And Marcia, she said that this juror wanted to leave
because of a personal matter. I mean, is that of concern that a juror
wanted to leave and they should have brought it to the judge or is this
normal? I mean, what do you make of that?
CLARK: It`s normal. It wouldn`t surprise me if the juror that wanted
to leave was a holdout juror who was not appreciating the pressure and the
situation and wanted out of it. That happens actually pretty commonly that
you have one on the other side of things who is very unhappy with being
pressured into going along with the group vote.
And so that person is going to think of a reason to get out of that
jury room. Now, if she actually had really need to go and really couldn`t
keep -- continue to deliberate, then she would have had to have been
removed and an alternate would replace her. But, she obviously didn`t need
it that badly. Didn`t feel that badly enough that she was willing to
actually leave and she let them persuade her to stay. But that`s all in
SHARPTON: Let me push you on that a little, Marcia.
SHARPTON: You`re saying that possibly -- and of course we know we`re
speculating here -- that possibly the holdout juror might have been the one
that was voting to convict Zimmerman of the top charge of murder two.
SHARPTON: And that maybe she wanted to leave because of her feeling
bad about the decision and that`s common. Is that what you`re speculation
CLARK: That is exactly the exactly -- Reverend, that is my
speculation. I`m guessing that that`s the one who wanted out because she
didn`t like the pressure she was getting. And I could be wrong. It could
be somebody else entirely, but that seems logically like the most likely
person to have wanted to get out.
SHARPTON: Ken Padowitz, what do you think of that theory?
PADOWITZ: Reverend, this confirms for me, these comments from these
jurors that my gut reaction and my opinion from the beginning of this case
that this was overcharged. They had probable cause for second degree
murder, but that standard the prosecutors have to use reasonable likelihood
of conviction really was with manslaughter. This should have been a
manslaughter charge from the beginning. They should have molded their
entire case on manslaughter. And based on these comments from these
jurors, I think there would have been a much better chance of getting a
conviction in this case with a manslaughter charge rather than overcharging
which is what I think the prosecutors did here.
CLARK: No way. No way. Absolutely not.
JENKINS: They had the manslaughter charge. There was an option for
them and they were presented with both. This juror said very clearly based
on the law, they had no choice but to acquit of manslaughter and of murder.
When jurors are supposed to vote their convictions based on the
evidence. And yes, it`s also their job to negotiate their point of view
with other jurors. A lot of times when there`s a split like this, it
depends on the strength and personalities of the jurors. And you could see
from the interview of B-37, she was very, very strong in her convictions
and completely bought into George Zimmerman`s story. And that he was a big
part of convincing the other jurors.
CLARK: That`s right. Not only that, but she said, you know, Rev.,
this Juror B-37 said that it didn`t matter to her or any other jurors there
was a second degree murder charge on the table. There wasn`t a question of
what we are charging. She specifically denied that. And actually that
probably is true. Jurors have the array of charge choices they have and
they make their decision. And like Faith said, this juror was very strong
in her convictions about what should and should not happen.
SHARPTON: Well, I will say this, Marcia. What you and Faith are
saying, this juror not only said that about those things, she kept quoting
Stand Your Ground which wasn`t even in the trial. I mean, she was hearing
instructions that weren`t even given. She was so determined to make a
But Paul, let me ask you a question. Since the verdict -- and I`m
going back to Marcia`s theory for a minute. Since the verdict, we heard
from B-37 who`s doing all these interviews. We heard a statement released
from B-51, B-76, E-6, and E-40. But we haven`t heard from B-29. B-29 is
the one that we`ve heard nothing from. She`s the one that is Hispanic or
black, has eight children, moved to the area from Chicago, and reportedly
wiped away a tear during the prosecution`s rebuttal. She`s the only juror
that has not released a statement or said anything publicly since the
trial. And she possibly could be the holdout, Paul?
HENDERSON: She possibly could. What I think is really interesting is
that she did not join the other jurors who felt motivated to distance
themselves from B-37 who didn`t feel as motivated to articulate that she
was more sympathetic to Trayvon Martin like the others. And what I would
imagine from her is that she feels internally more of the pressure if he
does come forward to address and talk about the race issue because she is a
person of color.
And so, you know, I don`t know if that`s keeping her away from the
spotlight or keeping her away from releasing a statement. But as the only
person on that jury that is a person of color, I have to imagine that she
was aware and conscious of some of the theories that were presented in that
case that maybe other jurors may not have noticed and in fact pushed away
and said that they were not relevant and not part of this case. And so I
would imagine that all of that is creating more pressure on her and that`s
part of why she is not releasing a statement, she`s not giving interviews.
And none of the others either are actually really coming forward.
SHARPTON: No. They only did a written statement.
HENDERSON: Exactly. They`re still not giving a press conference.
SHARPTON: I want to thank all of you for your time tonight.
JENKINS: Thank you.
CLARK: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, Rachel Jeantel speaks out right here on
SHARPTON: Coming up, my interview with key witness Rachel Jeantel.
She talks about the defense team, her critics, her relationship with
Trayvon, and reveals where she was the night of the verdict. That`s next.
SHARPTON: Jurors heard 12 days of testimony in George Zimmerman`s
trial. But one witness received more attention than any other. Nineteen-
year-old Rachel Jeantel. She was Trayvon Martin`s friend. She was on the
phone with him moments before he was killed. Over two days the defense
questioned her. For more than five and a half hours total.
She testified Trayvon Martin told her a man watched him and followed
him. As he walked home that night. We sat down for an interview and
talked about her testimony and how she`s dealing with all the attention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I`m sure these last few weeks have really been tough for
you. How you doing, first of all?
RACHEL JEANTEL, FRIEND OF TRAYVON MARTIN: Well, I`m doing great. I`m
SHARPTON: How have you been managing through all of these emotions
the last couple weeks?
JEANTEL: I have supporters. I never hear the disappointments. I
hear all the, you did this, you did this judgment. But I stay with my
supporters. I have my attorney. I have my family. So I kept holding on
SHARPTON: You were the last one to talk to him. And I know that had
to mess with you as it would anybody. And it seems like they didn`t have
that in mind at all when they were talking to you, I respect that. But you
were and you became critical. But at the same time they didn`t want you to
testify. When they talk about you don`t want to testify, they tried to
fight your testimony.
JEANTEL: Yes. They- are you talking about the state or the defense?
SHARPTON: The defense.
JEANTEL: The defense never wanted me there. They`ll -- best way to
say it. They had a plan for me. They were coming after me since October.
SHARPTON: Well, why do you think it was so important to them that
they didn`t want you there?
JEANTEL: Phone records showed kind of proof, what George said on the
911 tape, she said it. And remind you, before the 911 tape came out, I`m
the one. My voice came out before the 911s, all that. And I told them
listen to his 911. It matched what I said.
SHARPTON: So when you had told the story even before the tape had
come out about what he was saying, screaming, and all of that, the tape
came out after you told the story. It really corroborated what you had
JEANTEL: Yes. And the state just hold me like, OK, you`re my
strongest witness. So they called. I went to Jacksonville. They went
back and forth with me. And the defense which is asking me question,
question every month, what you`re doing here, trying to figure what I am,
who I am.
JEANTEL: Trying to figure out the bad in me. Oh I want your twitter,
your Facebook, your family. This don`t have nothing to do with me. It`s
not about me. It`s not about my character. It`s not about Trayvon
character. It`s about that night. It`s what happened that night. Who
caused the situation to happen?
SHARPTON: And you kept going back, kept answering their questions.
JEANTEL: I never stopped. I never ever stopped.
SHARPTON: I think, you know, coming up as I did, I thought you
basically handled being attacked a lot cooler than a lot of young folk I
know. Because, I mean, at some points it was like almost -- well, let me
show you one question that Don West. And after, tell me how you felt about
DON WEST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Are you claiming in any way that you
don`t understand English?
JEANTEL: I understand you. I understand you. I do understand
WEST: My question is when someone speaks to you in English, do you
believe that you have any difficulty understanding it because it wasn`t
your first language?
JEANTEL: I understand English really well.
SHARPTON: I mean, the way you kind of looked at him and then you kind
of went ahead, I mean, it was like what are you talking about?
JEANTEL: That day I know -- well, the day before I had to deal with
Don. I already know what he was coming after, so I had to show him more
respect. That`s when the yes, sirs started. And when Don asked me that
question and I had been talking English with him for that long.
JEANTEL: .and I felt disrespected. I felt like he disrespect me. So,
I couldn`t sat nothing. So, I had to hold on. And I said, why are you
asking me this question? I was thinking, why are you asking me this
question? I`m speaking English to you.
SHARPTON: And have had conversations with him leading up to this.
And this never came up.
JEANTEL: Yes. This never came up.
SHARPTON: So now, if you were pre-interviewed by the defense and the
prosecutors and it didn`t come up, why does he come up and bring it in the
trial? Did you think he was trying to --
JEANTEL: Attack me.
SHARPTON: And for what? To try to rattle you on the stand?
JEANTEL: Yes. To try to get me angry. To just show the jury, look
at her. She got angry. If she angry, you should imagine how Trayvon is.
SHARPTON: As you sat there, you knew and you`re saying this by your
statement that you were representing Trayvon. That in many ways being the
friend that you were to him, they were going to judge Trayvon`s character
by you. Which was a real burden that you had to carry that you didn`t ask
JEANTEL: Yes. Yes.
SHARPTON: How did you feel when you saw that Instagram photo of Don
and his daughter`s spoofing on you?
JEANTEL: Well, you know what? At first I was angry. That`s an
adult. You shouldn`t act that way to a teenager. He was coming after me.
Right now I`m over it. He has his life. I had my life. That had nothing
to do -- that don`t hurt me at all. But that was disrespectful. And I`m
better than that. Don is Don. He will do what he want. So I`ll do what I
want. So he can post all he want. To me, I won.
SHARPTON: You won?
JEANTEL: I won.
SHARPTON: How would you win?
JEANTEL: Because I`m a teenager. I`m a teenager. Don -- how the
jury think of an African-American teenager, they supposed to be cussing. I
did not even curse Don. I didn`t show him a lot of respect because he was
acting childish. He was acting ridiculous questions back and forth back
and forth. But I kept my ground. I stand strong. I never cursed. I know
the first day was oh, my God. I couldn`t deal with him no more. But I
still held on to him. You not going to break me. We went through so much,
you think you`re going to break me now? I`m going after you. But the nice
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now is MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor.
GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Reverend Al.
SHARPTON: They didn`t break her after all she`s been through.
Remarkable. What`s your reaction hearing her words?
TAYLOR: I do, I think it is remarkable. You know, she is 19-years-
old. And I don`t know there are many 19-year-olds, not mine, not myself
when I was that age, who could have withstood that kind of pressure, months
of deposition, months of inspection into your personal life, into your
social media, into your family`s life. You know, that kind of picking
apart and then to be on a witness stand on literally a world stage when
every cable network is on you to withstand that kind of scrutiny. And
still maintain your sense of respect and integrity to continue to answer
the questions as forthrightly as possible. I think that in itself is a
remarkable thing. She`s a young woman. I --
SHARPTON: I have more I`m going to show, Goldie so I want you to stay
SHARPTON: But I was struck by how when I would just ask her certain
questions, she would come forcefully and sometimes cut me off because she
wanted to explain herself. This was a very determined, very direct young
lady that we saw here. Not at all like her critics claimed and
strategically understood what the other side was doing. Like I had no idea
that she met with the defense. And they knew how she speaks or knew all of
the things. Yet they got her on the stand and acted as though this was
some stranger. And that they were, oh you have a problem with English.
And no wonder she was taken back.
TAYLOR: She certainly had more grace than I would have had, Reverend
Al. I`ll tell you that. You know, there is something called a
communicative complex where you communicate differently depending on the
form you`re in and who you`re speaking to. And so, how she may have
addressed as opposed to who she may have addressed, say an adversary, she
may have seen like Don West. How she may have addressed maybe the family`s
attorneys or maybe she may have addressed Sybrina Fulton.
TAYLOR: All of that is different in different settings. I think some
people that I saw especially online took her to be maybe less intelligent
and less savvy because of the cadence of her speech. Not understanding
that this young woman speaks three languages. I don`t know many of us who
can say such a thing. You know, there are studies out there that says, you
know, if I see you as beautiful, I am more inclined to trust what you say.
TAYLOR: If I see you as something less than beautiful, then I seem to
believe that you`re less than credible. I saw an awful lot of that online,
I heard an awful lot that on the networks. It`s disappointing.
SHARPTON: Well, let me tell you, she`s very intelligent. Goldie,
stay with me because part two of my interview is coming.
Up next, Rachel Jeantel responds to all of her critics and reacts to
the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. More from my interview straight
ahead. And we want to hear what you think about Rachel Jeantel`s
interview. Please visit our Facebook page. That`s
facebook.com/PoliticsNation. And let us know what you think.
SHARPTON: She`s been attacked because of the way she talks, judged
because of testimony. But now Rachel Jeantel has something to say to all
of her critics. Her surprising response is next.
SHARPTON: What does Rachel Jeantel have to say to her critics? Just
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Do you feel as you say you talk to your supporters, you
feel that a lot of people may have attacked you, but you know a lot of
people around the country are standing up supporting you as well.
JEANTEL: Yes. And people who are attacking me, they`re not in my
place. They got to imagine if that was them. My age. Would they do it?
The whole world watching you. So nobody felt how I felt. Day before I
testify, I did not sleep at all. Trying to figure out how am I going to do
this. OK. What he going to ask me. Because I know Don. When they said
hour, I didn`t believe that. I believe it was going to be three hours. It
became five hours. So I don`t understand what people were saying, why she
do this, why she did, she lying. If that was you, would you do it?
SHARPTON: You got on the stand, testified and Zimmerman didn`t.
JEANTEL: No. And people over the whole world judging me. You`re
judging me. And the person who shot Trayvon did not even testify.
SHARPTON: What do you think about that?
JEANTEL: That`s not a real man. If you were not guilty, you`ll come
up and tell your story. This what happened. This what happened. You just
not stand there, just look like oh, I ain`t doing nothing, I ain`t doing
SHARPTON: Did you think there was a cultural disconnect where they
just didn`t understand? Because what you were saying to me, I understood
when you testified. I understood. People I know understood. I mean, I
couldn`t understand what they were talking about. I mean, that you know
I`ve always been against young folk including my daughters using the "n"
word and crack word. Although I have used it when I was younger. But I
mean, we understood that wasn`t trying to make a race statement. That`s
just the way some of you all talk though we kind of tell you all not to.
JEANTEL: It is not we`ve talked is our culture. I`m not saying
teenagers use it every time. Teenagers use it with teens. But they don`t
use it with their parents. That don`t have nothing to do with the case.
SHARPTON: You knew Trayvon. People see him as a symbol, see him as a
caricature. But you knew him, he was your friend, tell people what kind of
person was Trayvon.
JEANTEL: Trayvon was a laid back person.
SHARPTON: And was he a guy that got into mischief? Was he a guy that
you should be afraid of? Was he a guy that look suspicious? I mean, you
hung out with him to some degree.
JEANTEL: I want to say -- if you look at Trayvon, you could know that
was a teen. And he was not a violent person. He was so quiet, you
wouldn`t notice him. The only thing was he was tall. You would look at
SHARPTON: Were you surprised when you started seeing them
characterize him in certain ways in the media?
JEANTEL: Yes. I felt that that was disrespectful to him, his parent.
That`s the victim. He died. He didn`t ask for that.
SHARPTON: Where were you Saturday night when you heard the verdict?
JEANTEL: I was at my auntie house.
SHARPTON: What`d you think? What would you feel?
JEANTEL: Sixteen months, well, I think 17 months. Work hard. Trying
to make sure this is a case -- guilty case. Trying to show Trayvon was the
good guy. Trayvon was minding his own business. Six jurors I had told my
story, told the fact, and you didn`t believe it? You judge my character.
You judge the kind of person I am. And I was trying to be honest to you.
I kept it honest with you.
That`s how we talk. I kept it honest with you. You wanted to know
what were you talking that night. And you did not take nothing serious.
You just listening to two attorneys. Listening to a person who don`t want
to stand on the stage where I was standing. So you say not guilty. Are
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Back with me now is MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor. Some
tried to mock her. But Rachel Jeantel came across as a strong person in
that interview, Goldie.
TAYLOR: She certainly did. She certainly did. And to me she really
came across as a strong person on the stand. I think the difference here
is really a cultural receptivity. Whether or not those jurors were able to
identify with her. We`re able to see any of themselves reflected in Rachel
SHARPTON: We asked about the cultural disconnect, what do you think?
TAYLOR: Absolutely. And I think that there was a clear disconnect.
That these six jurors could not see themselves in Rachel Jeantel. They
certainly could not see themselves in Trayvon Martin`s shoes. But they did
seem to have a connection with George Zimmerman. And I think the case
really did turn on that.
SHARPTON: Now, was language -- do you think it has anything to do
with the case?
TAYLOR: I think language had a lot to do with the case. But I think
it was just cultural perspective. I heard the juror on another network
last night say that -- she kept referring to "those" people, how "they"
live. She didn`t say, our collective community. How this part of our
community lives. It was never about us and we. It was "them," "those."
And that`s really where the disconnect really showed itself.
SHARPTON: Is that also why those who that had raised questions about
diversity on the jury, so you had people in the jury that understood the
culture and the environment of both the accused and the victim?
TAYLOR: Well, I think -- and I`ve heard this said a number of times.
That this case may have been over right after jury selection. Because you
really may not have had anyone or more than one person on that jury that
could have any -- that could make themselves have any connection, any
cultural connection with or empathy which Rachel Jeantel, with Trayvon
Martin, with Trayvon`s parents, with Sybrina Fulton or with Tracy Martin.
That they could not see themselves living similar lives. And so I think
that that was a real problem in the jury selection. And it permeated
itself throughout this trial and shown itself up, you know, in the
SHARPTON: Goldie Taylor, thank you for your time this evening.
TAYLOR: Thanks very having me, Reverend Al.
SHARPTON: We`ll be right back with "Reply Al" and the effort to turn
tragedy into action.
SHARPTON: It`s time for "Reply Al."
Grant writes, "Now I need your help. To move beyond my sadness.
Because I`ve been there myself. I know what Sybrina Fulton and Tracy
Grant, those are powerful words. We do need to make sure this never
happens again. Today at the NAACP conference in Orlando, Florida, I talked
about what we can do next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Just like we raised the temperature to get the trial, we`re
going to keep raising the temperature to get civil rights legislation and
to turn around stand your ground. We cannot have our sons and daughters
lives on the line for anybody that wants to pursue them, follow them, and
kill them and say it`s in self-defense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The National Rifle Association said today, Attorney General
Holder is exploiting this tragedy to push an agenda. As we look forward,
we must look to the past. Fifty years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. wrote a letter about the upcoming march on Washington then. He wrote
the demonstration will be peaceful and nonviolent at every point. Why?
Because their objective was more important than their anger.
As we go in a hundred cities this weekend against stand your ground.
As we go with his son to Washington in August, we must not let our anger
out rule our need for action. Those that can`t control themselves ought
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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