July 18, 2013
Guests: Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, Benjamin Crump
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Nearly 17 months ago on a rainy
night in Sanford, Florida 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed.
Five days ago, George Zimmerman was found not guilty in his death. Since
then, we have seen a huge reaction, protests around the country, calls for
a boycott of Florida, a new debate on race and guns, even a statement from
the president of the United States.
But there are two people we haven`t heard much from, Trayvon`s
parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. Tonight they are here. And for
the next hour, we`ll talk about their reaction to the verdict, the jury,
what is next for them, and of course we`ll talk about the young man they
Tonight, on "Politics Nation," Trayvon Martin`s parents after the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: State of Florida versus George Zimmerman
verdict, we the jury find George Zimmerman not guilty. So say we all.
SHARPTON: Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, and their attorney Benjamin
Crump, first, thank you all for being here tonight.
SHARPTON: It has been five days since the verdict. First of all, how
are you all doing?
SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: One day at a time, one day
at a time.
SHARPTON: You? What have you been doing the last five days
recovering from this, reacting to this getting yourself stronger? What is
the last five days been like?
FULTON: Most of the time I slept or I tried to sleep, a lot of
praying. You know, I just didn`t want to get in touch with family. They
were texting me. They were calling me. But I just wanted my own time, my
own time with God, my own time with myself, just to get myself together,
get my mind together, get my thoughts together.
SHARPTON: What about you, Tracy?
TRACY MARTIN, FATHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: Basically, the last five days
just been trying to get my composure, trying to get myself together,
because I know I have to be strong, not only for my family, but there are
countless families out there, young men and young women that are counting
on us to be strong.
SHARPTON: You know, last Saturday when the verdict came in I was in
midtown Manhattan and they called (inaudible) verdict to come, and we
rushed to the studio, and the one thing I noticed is you all were not in
the courtroom. Every day you all were there. Did you purposely not come?
Did you feel that the verdict was going to be a not guilty verdict and you
didn`t want to be there? Why weren`t you all in the courtroom?
FULTON: I think it was more about our actions. We were told, you
know, by the court system that there could be no loud outbursts, no
reactions, no emotions. That coupled with our attorney`s advice that it
wasn`t a good idea for us to be there, because we probably couldn`t contain
our emotions either way. So we decided, we talked about it, and we decided
that it wasn`t a good idea for us to go. So that was just the only day we
missed, and, you know, I`m glad we did.
SHARPTON: How did you react?
MARTIN: Man, I broke down because I was in disbelief. I just didn`t
-- I couldn`t understand why the jury came back with the verdict that they
did. I felt as though there were a substantial amount of evidence to
convict him second-degree murder.
SHARPTON: Disbelief. I mean, when I heard them say not guilty, I
thought it was too counts. I was waiting on the second count, and then it
was just over like that. It was kind of stunning.
FULTON: Shocking, right.
SHARPTON: All right, shocking. How is Javaris doing, by the way,
FULTON: I think Javaris is -- he watches us. He pays attention to
what we say, what we do, and how we act, react. So, he is doing well. He
is coming along. He is taking one day at a time. He is remaining
prayerful. And, you know, he is surrounded by family and friends.
SHARPTON: Did you watch the attorneys after the verdict, their press
statements, the defense attorneys when they held a press conference?
SHARPTON: What was your reaction to what they had to say?
MARTIN: I didn`t -- I haven`t watched any of the press releases. I
just couldn`t get myself front of the TV to see what they had to say. I
just felt that as a father, who had lost his child, I felt that his life
had been made a mockery of. So I couldn`t just stand in front of the TV
and watch them parade, so to speak, on national television.
SHARPTON: Why do you feel that Trayvon`s life was made a mockery of?
MARTIN: I just didn`t feel as though they -- the jurors, not all of
the Sanford police, but some of the Sanford police department didn`t take
this serious at all. And I just, as I said, I just didn`t feel that his
life value meant anything to them.
SHARPTON: Sybrina, you said you saw some of it. What was your
reaction to the press conference by the defense attorneys?
FULTON: I -- let me just go back. As I said in the courtroom, it
just seemed to me as though Trayvon was on trial. And this trial was not
about Trayvon. This trial was about George Zimmerman and what he did that
night. But it just constantly seemed to me like they were trying to just
bring things up that Trayvon had done. I mean, who hasn`t done things as a
17-year-old, you know?
So, I think they put more responsibility on the child, Trayvon, and
not the adult, George Zimmerman. So the comments that they made was based
on that. The comments were to me, some of the comments were just
distasteful, you know. You can tell me you`re sorry for my loss and then
stabbing me in the back at the same time. So, I understand that. I
understand what, you know, the concept in everything that was going on.
SHARPTON: Did -- when you say that all of that stabbing in the back,
trying Trayvon rather than Zimmerman, do you think it was a fair trial?
FULTON: I think the state of Florida did their best. I think Angela
Corey`s office did their best to try to get a conviction. I don`t know
about the jury, I don`t know about the defense, you know. I think the
judge was fair in our rulings of the different motions. But it just seemed
it just like -- when the verdict came, it seemed like wow, you can get away
So, now our kids are targets, you know. And it`s a scary feeling.
How are we going to reassure them to feel safe walking down the street
going home, minding their own business with a drink and some candy?
SHARPTON: Tracy, we rallied and said we wanted a trial. We got a
trial. Was it fair?
FULTON: I feel the state did all they could do. Of course, coming
from me as a father who lost his child, I just think that the system wasn`t
fair. The statutes, the laws in Florida, I just didn`t feel that they
applied to Trayvon as equal as they did to George Zimmerman. I just think
there were too many loopholes, too much were blaming Trayvon for his own
death. How can you blame a 17-year-old child for his own death? Say, he
could have avoided his own death by simply going home. And George
Zimmerman said himself to the dispatch on the 911 calls. He didn`t want to
give his address out because he didn`t want people to know where he lived
at. So why would Trayvon goes straight home after being chased by
SHARPTON: You know, juror B-37 gave an interview, and she said this.
It seemed like she said a lot of what you just said like Trayvon was
responsible. Watch this statement she made and tell me your reaction as
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUROR B-37, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN 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 and
come back and be in a fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: He played a huge role. He could have gone home. How do
you listen to that as a mother and feel?
FULTON: If somebody is following me in their vehicle, and then they
follow me on foot, I`m not going home, because I don`t want that person to
know where I live, for one. And then I don`t want that person to harm
anybody that may be in my house. So just common sense tells you that I
wouldn`t go directly home if somebody was chasing me or if somebody was
pursuing me or following me. I`m not going home, because then you know
where I live.
I think the statement shows that there was definitely a disconnect
with the jury. They did not see themselves as Trayvon being their son,
because had they, you know, just took a moment to look in our eyes and to
sit in our seat and just walk in our shoes, they would have understood that
Trayvon was minding his own business.
He was not a burglar. He was not doing anything wrong. And some of
that information came out that he had candy and a drink. I mean, if you`re
going to burglarize somebody`s house, you`ll have burglary tools.
FULTON: You know, you wouldn`t be on the phone with somebody at the
time that you`re getting ready to commit this crime.
SHARPTON: Do you think, Tracy, that these jurors understood Trayvon,
could relate to Trayvon? They had a kind of kinship with Trayvon?
MARTIN: I don`t think they could connect with him in the sense they
are not looking through the eyes of an African-American parent. They don`t
know what it`s like to be an African-American. They don`t know all of the
trials and tribulations. So, I think the disconnect was maybe they have
kids, and they never figured that their kids would ever have to be put in
that position, where we on the other hand, we understand that society is
cruel. And I just don`t think that they saw it coming from our
SHARPTON: Now, there was a report that the jury was split. Three
voted guilty initially, then two voted manslaughter, one voted second-
degree murder. Then they kind of swayed them over. How did you react when
you heard there was initially a split in the vote?
FULTON: I just didn`t -- I couldn`t understand how can you come from
three people feeling that he was guilty of manslaughter to all six people
feeling that he was innocent? That`s the part that I`m having trouble
grasping, because that showed me that there was -- there was thought in
their mind that he was guilty. And how you go from second degree to not
guilty at all, that troubles me. That baffles me. I have no idea how they
got to that.
SHARPTON: Is there something prosecutor could have done attorney
Crump, that could have helped keep this going in at least the people that
were already on the jury? One is saying murder two. Did the prosecution
BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, I know attorney Parks
and I talked about this a lot and attorney Jackson, attorney Rand, my legal
team. As Sybrina said, we thank Ms. Corey for bringing the charges,
Reverend Sharpton, because many of the prosecutors in the state of Florida
would not have brought the charges no matter how much evidence they had.
And certainly lawyers have different strategies and different styles. One
of the strategies attorney Parks and I employ always is to empower the jury
to say your vote today in this courtroom is more important than your vote
when you go vote in a presidential election. You go back there and you
hold on to your vote. You don`t let people sway you from your vote. Your
vote will count more today than it will in any presidential election.
Six votes in that jury, and that`s what it was. And one vote counted
all the world to Tracy and Sybrina if they just would have hold on to their
vote and not gave in on their vote. And that`s an important thing to tell
a jury. And we always tell the jury that you got to make your vote count.
SHARPTON: And the prosecution didn`t say that?
CRUMP: It`s a different style. We know that`s our style to make sure
we empower the jury.
SHARPTON: Now, you know, when we hear this juror that basically had
done the interviews, basically took George Zimmerman`s view, felt that he
was -- let me play you something that clearly says that she kind of bought
into whatever Zimmerman`s story was.
(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 way to protect himself at that point. I have no
doubt that George feared for his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: How do you feel when you feel her say his heart was in the
right place and she had no doubt he feared for his life?
FULTON: It just made me think she had made up her mind before she had
heard the evidence, before the trial started, and before she was even
selected. She had already made up her mind because she calls him by his
first name, George. She says George this and George that. So she had
already made up her mind. That`s the sad part about it.
MARTIN: Yes, I feel the same way. I feel that the intent from the
outset from this juror was tainted. She had her own intentions to get as
juror. And her mind was made up before she was even selected.
CRUMP: Well, Reverend Sharpton, I think we normally don`t talk about
jurors and their deliberations. However, she came forward and volunteered.
So that makes it, you know, where we can talk about it. And there were so
many troubling things that she said in that interview. For instance, when
the said do you feel sympathy for Trayvon Martin and she said I feel
sympathy for both of them. Hold on. You`re equating a deceased child and
the person that killed him on the same level?
And furthermore, as Sybrina said, it was George, and it was George,
and it was almost nothing was Trayvon`s perspective. It was not from the
perspective of a kid who was running away. And as Sybrina and Tracy said,
they couldn`t imagine that this would be their child who was in this
terrible situation, this scary situation, running from a stranger you
didn`t know. And that`s who we see when we think about Trayvon. Every
African-American parent, every parent who says I want to be compassionate
to a child you thinks that could be my child.
I`m going to ask you to stay with me.
Coming up, more of our conversation, including what it was like inside
SHARPTON: Back now with Trayvon Martin`s parents and their attorney
There has been since the verdict outpouring all over the country,
thousands of people out marching. How have you responded? How has that
made you feel?
FULTON: It`s helping to know that we have supporters. It`s helping
to know that we have people standing with us. That is praying with us.
You know, they`re supporting us. And they can definitely see some of the
trials and tribulations that we are going through because just like us, a
lot of people are experiencing the same thing.
SHARPTON: And we will talk about that later, because we`re always
going to be a part of a prayer vigil Saturday. But let me take you back to
the courtroom because no one has really talked with you publicly how it was
to sit in the courtroom. You`re sitting in there every day, looking at
George Zimmerman. Did you ever make eye contact with him? Was there any
kind of point where you and he, either one of you crossed at least in terms
of eye contact?
MARTIN: I tried not to make eye contact with him because it was just
hard sitting in the courtroom, five, six, seven feet away from the
individual that took my son`s life. That in itself was just a lot to bear.
And as a father, you have thoughts of what am I going to do? What do
I want to do? But then at the end of the day I sat back and said to myself
it was bigger than what we were doing sitting right there in the courtroom,
that everything that we that we had did up until that point would have been
for nothing had I allowed outbursts or whatever. And when I wanted to look
up at him, I just thought about Trayvon and what I would be destroying had
SHARPTON: You know, Sybrina, you always talk about faith and your
spiritual life. But how much was your spiritual life tested sitting in
there every day with Zimmerman sitting there, hearing the 911 tapes or what
you said was your son screaming. How did that feel and how did that test
your spirit and your endurance?
FULTON: It tested my spirit, me just remaining at peace while I was
sitting there. So I was in the wilderness, but I was still at peace with
myself because God was talking to me at the same time. And he told me just
be still. Just be still. Hold your head up high, and that`s what I did.
I was obedient to God`s word, and I understood that this wasn`t just about
Trayvon. I was representing a whole group of people, a whole -- I can`t
say a nation, but a community I was representing. So it was important for
me to be obedient to God and listen to what he said. And every day when I
walked in that courtroom, I have an aunt who was texting me at home. And
she would say plead the blood of Jesus over the courtroom. And that`s what
I did every single day.
SHARPTON: Let me play you one of the defense attorneys, what he had
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You certainly hope as a mom, you
certainly hope that your son Trayvon Martin would not have done anything
that would have led to his own death, correct?
FULTON: What I hope for is that this would have never happened and he
would still be here. That`s my hope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Mark O`Mara in cross examining you inferred that you were
hoping it was Trayvon on the tape I referred that maybe it was not him and
you are sure your answer. What was going through your head when he was
asking you this? And do you think his cross-examination to you was
respectful and fair or did you feel he was not keeping in mind that this is
your son that had been lost?
FULTON: He remained professional, but at the same time the little
underhanded things I just seen right now. How could you say that my son
did something to lead to his own death? I didn`t believe that, and I
didn`t want him to put words into my mouth. You asked the question and let
me answer it. But I just didn`t want him to put words into my mouth. And
I understood what he was saying.
The other thing is as a witness, that was, you know, the first time I
had been a witness in a case. And it was just very difficult because I had
no clue what he was going to ask. So, it was hard for me to try to stay
focused on what I was, you know, to answer the questions. And also just
keep my mind focused on what was going on in the courtroom.
SHARPTON: Tracy, you will understand as well, and do you feel they
were respectful because the defense called you. How do you feel that went?
MARTIN: I felt they went good for me because I had no reason to get
up on the stand and lie. But I did have the right to get up on the stand
and contradict what detective Serino and detective Single (ph) to stand.
And I felt as though what they said was untrue. And I felt that I had to
get on the stand. I wanted to get on the stand to tell them what I did
SHARPTON: Now, I`m going to play this for you that a lot of people
mention to me all the time. George Zimmerman did an interview with Sean
Hannity, and this is what he said when Hannity asked him about regrets
about what happened that night with Trayvon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Is there anything you regret? Do you
regret getting out of the car to follow Trayvon that night?
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, ACQUITTED IN KILLING TRAYVON MARTIN: No, sir.
HANNITY: Do you regret that you had a gun that night?
ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.
HANNITY: Do you feel you wouldn`t be here for this interview if you
didn`t have that gun?
ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.
HANNITY: You feel you would not be here?
ZIMMERMAN: I feel that it was all God`s plan. And for me to second
guess it or judge it --
HANNITY: Is there anything you might do differently in retrospect now
that time has passed a little bit?
ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: As a mother and father, no regrets for anything, wouldn`t
do anything differently. Thought it was all God`s plan. I mean, how do
you look at that and feel?
FULTON: I look at that and say what God is he serving, because the
God that I serve would not have that type of plan. And for him to
apologize to us and then in another segment or another show say he has no
regrets, I think that`s disgusting.
MARTIN: I feel he has no respect for human life. It`s a total
disrespect for human life to say that you would, if you had a chance, you
wouldn`t do anything differently. That right there shows the mentality of
someone who is very unstable. Because, I mean, it`s just no regard for
human life there.
SHARPTON: You know, both you have left the courtroom at some point
when the 911 tapes were played. I`m imaging, I don`t want to put words in
your mouth, that was very painful, the tapes, the autopsy photos were
shown, photos of Trayvon that night. These were very emotional and trying
periods for you, times during the trial?
FULTON: Yes. They were very difficult for me to watch, to see my son
laying on the ground, to see my son at the medical examiner`s, just to not
see my son smiling and happy and alive, you know. It bothered me a great
deal. And when I felt that I could not sit in the courtroom and listen to
it, we did have a little room. We went into in that room. In that room, I
just, you know, just took some time out. Just so, that I wasn`t so
connected to every single thing that was going on. But it helped me a
great deal and I couldn`t take everything.
MARTIN: Just to see the lifeless body of an individual that we knew
was full of life, full of energy. Just to see him laying on the medical
examiner`s table. It was disturbing. It was hurtful. It is something
that -- those are photos you really don`t want to look at. But at the same
time, you want to see what this monster in fact did -- I wanted to see what
this monster did to my son.
SHARPTON: That`s the part of the trial that many people probably
never thought about, the parents. Please stay with me.
When we come back Trayvon Martin`s parents on Rachel Jeantel and her
testimony, and their views on George Zimmerman not testifying.
Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Coming up, the most talked about person who testified and
the one who didn`t. Rachel Jeantel and George Zimmerman. I`ll ask Trayvon
Martin`s parents about them, next.
SHARPTON: We`re back with Trayvon Martin`s parents, Sybrina Fulton
and Tracy Martin, and their attorney, Benjamin Crump. I want to talk for a
moment about Rachel Jeantel. She was Trayvon`s friend, and she was a key
witness in this case, the last person to speak with him.
Sybrina, what was going through your mind as you watched her testify?
FULTON: I was just so glad that she did agree to it. I just think
back to when we first found out about her, and we didn`t contact her, and I
met up with her. It was just -- it was just a very emotional meeting. And
I begged her. I pleaded with her. And she did not want anybody to know
who she was. And that was the reason why she gave me a different name,
because that was the nickname that she used. But I just begged her and I
told her, just tell what happened. Tell the truth. Just do this for your
friend. Just do this for Trayvon.
And it was a very emotional meeting. So seeing her again on the
stand, I can appreciate her. I appreciate her for standing out, for
standing up, because some people who have just said well, I don`t remember,
I don`t know. And she could have done that. But instead, she said let me
just tell what happened. Let me just tell, you know, that I was on the
phone with him and exactly what I heard. And I appreciate her for that.
SHARPTON: And she really, Tracy, got into it with the defense. Let
me show you her and Don West getting into it a little.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON WEST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Are you claiming in any way that you
don`t understand English?
RACHEL JEANTEL, FRIEND OF TRAYVON MARTIN: I understand you. I
understand you. I just don`t understand English.
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.
WEST: Are you OK this morning?
WEST: You seem so different from yesterday. I`m just checking. Did
JEANTEL: Is that a question?
WEST: Yes. Did someone talk with you last night about your demeanor
in court yesterday?
JEANTEL: No, I went to sleep.
WEST: You don`t know that Trayvon got hit.
JEANTEL: He had to.
WEST: You don`t know that Trayvon didn`t at that moment take his
fists and drive it into George Zimmerman`s face.
JEANTEL: Please lower your voice.
WEST: Do you?
JEANTEL: No, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Tracy, she told us on POLITICS NATION she felt he was
disrespecting her, talking about English and all, because she had actually
been interviewed by him a couple of times before she testified, and none of
this came up.
MARTIN: I thought it was very disrespectful to her and her family as
well. I thought it was witness badgering. You had to remember this is a
young lady who was the last person that talked to -- one of the persons she
considered her best friend. She gave accolades to Trayvon. Trayvon was
that friend that never belittled her, that never talked to her. And for
Don West to get her on stage like that and try to belittle her and
disrespect her, I thought it was very distasteful.
CRUMP: Reverend Sharpton, I think when you look at all her testimony,
it`s very consistent. And legally, her testimony had there been a
conviction, her testimony made it legally sufficient, because it was very
consistent. The 911 operator, when they`re talking to Trayvon`s killer say
he is running away.
CRUMP: Rachel says he is running away. And they are both on the phone
at the same time. Now, they talk about some big conspiracy. The phone
records don`t lie. He says Trayvon is running away. And it just flies in
the face of common sense that somebody who is running away from you moments
before is going to try to attack you. It`s more akin to Trayvon was trying
to defend himself.
And that`s what her testimony was consistent with that. And lastly, I
think what Tracy said was so true. And it really got at your heart. She
said Trayvon never made fun of her about her complexion or her weight. And
don`t we all want our children to be like that, don`t go with the crowd and
try to make fun of people, but to be compassionate and say, I see you for
who you are, Rachel.
SHARPTON: Now Zimmerman didn`t testify, Sybrina. How did you respond
when you found when the defense got ready to rest and you were not going to
hear Zimmerman get on the stand and tell his story?
FULTON: Well, I just thought that he would. If you`re saying that
you are defending yourself and this is a self-defense claim, then why
didn`t people hear from you? Why didn`t people hear what he had to say
about his accounts of what happened? You know. And the prosecution wasn`t
given a chance to cross-examine him, to ask him any questions specifically
or in detail about that night.
SHARPTON: Now, in an interview, Tracy, his mother was asked what she
would say to you as parents. And she said this. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLADYS ZIMMERMAN, MOTHER OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: We are deeply sorry for
this tragedy, deeply sorry. And we pray for the departed, we pray for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: How do you feel about her saying that?
MARTIN: I`m not concerned right now. I`m not concerned in myself
with what they`re saying. We`re more focusing ourselves on our family and
how our family feels and how we can heal our family and how we can start
healing our friends. In time, time will heal all wounds. But right now
that wound is still open. It`s still very fresh. So we`re more focused on
what our family thoughts and prayers are.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you before we go to break. When you think about
the trial and you think about the interviews that you went through, both on
the stand and the interviews of the parents of George Zimmerman, the fact
is that you, no matter what had happened, would not have got your son back.
So, the calls for you now is what? What is it that you are trying to
achieve in the name of your son?
FULTON: In the name of Trayvon Martin, we are trying to achieve --
we`re trying to make sure that this is prevented. That kids feel safe and
this does not happen to somebody else`s teenager or somebody else`s child,
and somebody else gets away with murder. We want to make sure that these
laws are changed. Well want to make sure that people are listening to what
happened during the trial, and even now. And we make positive change.
SHARPTON: And I think that you formed a foundation trying to go work.
Explain that Tracy what you and Sybrina are doing.
MARTIN: We founded the Trayvon Martin Foundation. And we`re trying
to create an atmosphere where we can give scholarships, we can mentor
children, we can advocate for senseless crimes, we can get out and try to
make amendments on some of the laws. We`re trying to implement the Trayvon
Martin bill. It`s a lot of things that we have out there in place that
we`re working on. And it`s not just for the black communities, it`s for
people with just decency in themselves. And we want to -- we want to make
sure that Trayvon`s legacy stays here and not just after this trial. We
want to make sure this is ongoing thing.
SHARPTON: I want to talk about that. From the President to Stevie
Wonder to Bruce Springsteen, the power of the Trayvon Martin story. That`s
SHARPTON: George Zimmerman was the one who faced charges in Florida,
but it seemed to many people that Trayvon Martin was the one put on trial.
The defense tried to define Trayvon Martin in a certain way. They wanted
to make him seem like a thug, like a guy interested in fighting. Drugs,
even guns. And for all the talk we have heard in this country about this
case, most Americans don`t know Trayvon at all.
We`re back with Trayvon`s parents and their family attorney. Tracy,
you have said Trayvon was your friend. What was it like hearing all those
negative things about your son?
MARTIN: It was very disheartening, Reverend, because I -- the Trayvon
that we know and love was not what they were portraying him to be. We knew
and loved the Trayvon that loved his little cousins. He used to make
breakfast and cupcakes for his little cousins. He used to go to Chuck E.
Cheese with his little cousins. Anything that dealt with younger kids, he
was that person to be around them. He was -- I liked to call him my best
friend because he saved my life. And that is something that I won`t -- I
refuse to let anyone take away from me, trying to sort of stain his life.
He was -- he was a kid of kids. He was just -- he was my son, man. And he
is sadly missed.
SHARPTON: You say he was your son. I remember, Sybrina, when the
President of the United States talked about if he had a son. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: You know, if I had a son, he
would 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 that we`re going to get to the bottom of exactly what
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: And getting to the bottom of what happened is why the call
has went out to the Justice Department investigate and this Trayvon Martin
amendment is to really make sure it doesn`t happen again. I know this is
the work of the foundation. I know this is Saturday. We`re all at 100
locations around the country, pleading for some change. Policy, not
republican, democrat, everybody. Sybrina, what is your hope that can come
out of Saturday and come out of the foundation`s work on this Tracy Martin
FULTON: Well, Trayvon Martin.
SHARPTON: Trayvon Martin. I`m sorry, I said Tracy.
FULTON: The Trayvon Martin amendment says that you cannot pursue, you
cannot follow, chase someone, pick a fight with them, shoot and kill them,
and then say you were standing your ground. So that`s what that amendment
is all about. For the rallies that are going on, for the marches that are
going on, for the most part, they`re peaceful. And we want them to remain
peaceful. We want them to have a voice. And we want their voices to be
heard, because people are listening. And numbers count. And that`s what
SHARPTON: But no violence? Don`t come if you can`t control yourself.
FULTON: You have to be able to control yourself. You have to be able
to know what to say and when to say it. You have to be able to organize
yourself within your own state or within your own city. And that`s what we
are promoting. That`s what we are supporting. We`re not supporting
anything that is not of a positive image.
SHARPTON: And you are appealing to government for change, because I
saw one newscast say that you were like calling the President out. And I
said no, I think she was responding to a question. We`re trying to appeal
for change. I don`t -- I mean, is that the spirit or am I missing
FULTON: No, that`s the spirit. We`re trying to appeal for change.
We`re trying to get as many people connected to this movement, because it
has turned into a -- it started out being one way. Now it`s a movement.
There are people that want positive change. There are people that want the
injustice to stop, there are people of all colors that say something is
wrong with the system if an adult male can get away with murder. And
Trayvon was a teenager. At the end of the day, he was a teenager that was
minding his own business with a drink and some candy.
CRUMP: Reverend Sharpton, from the time when we called you almost 17
months ago, we were asking for justice for Trayvon, and we`re still seeking
that but the conversation has evolved. After you watched that trial, you
saw them say because the actions of an African-American male who
burglarized the town in the gated community, it was almost suggested that
the neighborhood watch volunteer had a right to go stop any teenaged black
male he saw walking through his gated community.
And you can`t profile and follow somebody and chase them. Not even
the police can do that. The United States Supreme Court say, you can`t
profile based on race. So the conversation of Trayvon Martin continues to
evolve. And the question is, are we going to make progress or regress?
And if we make progress, this won`t happen to anybody else`s child.
SHARPTON: That`s what the foundation is going to be dedicated toward,
and we`re going to keep following it. When we come back, how these parents
find the strength to keep going.
SHARPTON: Sybrina, Tracy, the foundation work, you say you want to
have victims work with each other. And I know that`s a very important
thing. Because I`ve worked with a lot of people that we`ve had to fight
for, fight for down through the years. You share the pain and you bonded
with them. That`s what the foundation is going to be about.
FULTON: Yes. That`s one of the purposes of the foundation is for us
to connect with other families that are victims. It`s on our website. And
what we`re going to do here --
SHARPTON: What`s the website?
FULTON: The website is thetrayvonmartinfoundation.org.
SHARPTON: Now, when it`s all over, we`re going out Saturday around
the country, people are going forward peacefully and try to change the law,
when it`s all over, 100 years from now. What do you want American history
to say about Trayvon Martin?
MARTIN: That Trayvon was definitely a pillar in this time, in this
generation, that his killing may have had something to do with the ending
of the senseless violence. We want to learn from this, you know. And I
think it`s -- I think we as a people in general as a whole should take heed
to this and learn from this.
SHARPTON: As a mother, Sybrina, if you could talk to George
Zimmerman, one case, the jury came back. But as a mother, what would you
say to him?
FULTON: I would pray for him. I would tell him my favorite bible
verse which is Proverbs three, five and six. And I would tell him how I
felt which is you shed innocent blood, and you`re going to have to account
for that. And I would pray for him. I really would. Because I don`t want
to block my blessings by having any hatred in my heart for him. So I would
pray for him.
SHARPTON: Do you feel that with all the efforts you`re doing, you`ve
been out there, 16, 17 months, and just I`m going to ask you quickly. Do
you feel that Trayvon is with you and watching and seeing what you all are
FULTON: Absolutely. It`s little things that happen around us, which
gives us confirmation that not only God is there, but our angel is watching
SHARPTON: Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, Attorney Benjamin Crump,
thank you for your time tonight.
MARTIN: Thank you.
CRUMP: Thank you very much, Sharpton.
SHARPTON: Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton.
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