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Zimmerman Not Guilty
Aired July 15, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, shock, outrage and relief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are going to continue as a people to fight against this madness, this brutality, until it stops.
PINSKY: Reaction to the Zimmerman verdict continues to spread. Both sides speak out.
And Ms. Ali in her first appearance since the verdict.
SHAHRAZAD ALI, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: There`s been a question about whether or not Zimmerman will be safe if he`s found not guilty. I think he`ll be safer than I will be when I leave this studio to get my car in the garage.
PINSKY: Plus, is it really all over for Zimmerman? Or could he be facing another trial?
Let`s get started.
PINSKY: Good evening.
My co-host is Samantha Schacher, host of "Pop Trigger" on the Young Turks Network.
Coming up, HLN`s Vinnie Politan get this -- has an exclusive interview with the prosecutors from the Zimmerman trial. Some of what they say you will find to be shocking.
Plus, Frank Taaffe is here with us, just about everything Frank says is shocking.
Hey, Frank, welcome to the program again. I like the look with the new glasses and the haircut. Well done. Well done.
But, first off, a lot being said in the wake of the not guilty verdict. Take a look at this.
JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL: You have no further business with the court.
JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: This case is not about race. It`s about right and wrong.
REPORTER: Does it bother you when people say this case is not about race?
BEN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: No, it doesn`t. But we`ll be intellectually dishonest if we didn`t recognize the racial undertones in this case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first line of the first homework assignment he wrote for professor Carter indicates that the reason he wants to be a law enforcement officer in that case, I think it was a U.S. Marshal, because he wants to hunt fugitives and make sure they don`t get away.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, JR., GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S BROTHER: He was armed with the sidewalk. He was armed with his nose-breaking fist and he was armed with whatever aggression he brought to that moment.
RACHEL JEANTEL, TRAYVON MARTIN`S FRIEND: I believe it was just a fight and he already told me he was by his father`s house so I thought his father was going to help him and I did hear -- sounds in the background and people could help him.
NELSON: We have recognized for hundreds of years that a jury`s deliberations, discussions and votes should remain their private affair as long as they wish it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last time I said, is George a racist? And he said, no, I wouldn`t work for him if he was.
ZIMMERMAN: There are no winners. They will not win or lose anything more than they already have lost, which is their son`s life.
CRUMP: For Trayvon to rest in peace, we must all be peaceful.
PINSKY: HLN host, Jane Velez-Mitchell joins us.
Jane, you`ve been covering every moment of this case. What is the latest development?
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST (via telephone): Well --
PINSKY: Oh, no, we`re losing you, Jane. Let`s try it again.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Legally -- a lot of people really -- upset.
PINSKY: Jane, I`ll tell you what we`re going to do. You`re on a cell phone, you must be, and it is breaking up, we`re catching about every third, every three to ten words.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, how about here?
PINSKY: That`s better. Let`s have it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Yes. The big, big news is that George Zimmerman is getting his gun back and according to his attorney, we`re talking about the very gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman plans to carry it with him wherever he goes. And his attorney Mark O`Mara is saying he needs that gun now more than ever because so many people hate him.
And this remark, this announcement to the world that George Zimmerman is not only getting his gun back that`s one thing, that`s a just issue of legality. That`s law. He was acquitted.
But the idea that they`re announcing to the world that he plans to carry that very weapon that was used to kill Trayvon Martin and use it again as he deems necessary is really a lot of outrage. Some people say there is absolutely no need to announce to the world at this sensitive time when there are so many demonstrations, people, so many -- so very -- people about what has happened. That is like adding salt to the wound.
PINSKY: Yes, Jane. Thank you so much. It also puts guns right back in the center of this conversation.
On our panel tonight -- thank you, Jane -- attorney Mark Eiglarsh from speaktomark.com, Michael Skolnik, editor in chief of globalgrind.com. He`s also on the board of the Trayvon Martin Foundation. Crystal Wright, the conservativeblackchick.com, and social commentator Shahrazad Ali. She`s the author of "The Blackwoman`s Guide to understanding the Blackman."
Michael, to you first. Did this start out as a racial case? Or has it been turned into one?
MICHAEL SKOLNIK, GLOBALGRIND.COM: This case has always had tinges of race around it, I think there`s been issues of race. Issues that young black then in this country can be killed and people who kill them and who aggressively stalk them can walk free hurts so many people, not just black people but white people and Asians and Latinos that, once again, a black kid`s life is not equal to any other young kid`s life in this country.
CRYSTAL WRIGHT, CONSERVATIVEBLACKCHICK.COM: You know, Michael, I do like you, but you`re just wrong. And I think "The Washington Post" summed this up really well today in their op-ed. They said from the start, hucksters and political demagogues exploited the death of a young black boy.
And what`s really what we`re talking about and what`s really sad now is that we have everyone disappointed that the final lynching of George Zimmerman didn`t occur by the jurors because there was no evidence there. George Zimmerman --
SKOLNIK: Don`t say that, Crystal, final lynching? Final lynching?
WRIGHT: George -- you wanted it to be lynching --
SKOLNIK: You`re going to use a lynching --
WRIGHT: This is what is so awful.
SKOLNIK: Let`s not go that far.
WRIGHT: This whole trial has set the races back. Emmett Till was savagely killed, beaten, his eyes gouged out, a cotton gin fan strapped around his neck in 1955 in Mississippi. And I`m disgusted when people --
SKOLNIK: And that`s a lynching.
WRIGHT: That this trial is equivalent to now it`s open season on blacks, that now somehow whites can go kill blacks with impunity.
Absolutely not. And it`s abhorrent for anybody to say that.
PINSKY: Ms. Ali, I want to bring you in here. This has, though, brought something to the fore, has it not?
ALI: Well, certainly, we were the first ones to start talking about this issue about the impact of race, not only on this trial but in this country.
And if white people in America think that this case is not about race, a person who looks white killing a black person, then give me a case that is about race. I would like them to tell me one case that white people think is about race. Because white people always say, this isn`t about color, this isn`t about race.
Nothing is about race according to white people in America.
WRIGHT: Ms. Ali --
ALI: You know who I miss? My dear friend Johnny Cochran. If Johnny Cochran has been here, he`d got a conviction.
PINSKY: Samantha, go ahead.
SAMANTHA SCHACHER, CO-HOST: Ms. Ali, please don`t say such offensive statements such as all white people. Because you know what, I am outraged. I was outraged by the injustice that has occurred and has happened with Trayvon Martin.
ALI: Tell me a case that`s about race.
SCHACHER: Tell you a case about race? Sean Bell was a case about race to me. Trayvon Martin was a case --
ALI: We all have to go back to 1955 --
SCHACHER: Sean Bell was two years, three years ago, Ms. Ali, actually.
PINSKY: Ms. Ali, again, let`s all --
SCHACHER: How about Oscar Grant, Ms. Ali. Why don`t you stop making assumptions --
PINSKY: Whether it is or isn`t in the courtroom, and, Mark, I`ll giver you a chance to talk about this, because you`re the one completely vindicated today, your commentary has been right, spot on and you`re the one that enlightened me to the point I wasn`t shocked by the outcome because you said it had to be the outcome.
But it`s triggered a feeling in people and that feeling has got to be honored and discussed. And let`s bring it out and talk about it.
Mark, you first.
MARK EIGLARSH, ATTORNEY: Yes, I don`t believe there`s any right or wrong. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. That`s what makes this country great. It`s all under the Constitution.
That`s the same Constitution that mandated a not guilty verdict because the burden of proof was not met by the prosecutors.
That in no way means that Zimmerman was totally factually right. He could`ve -- I`m not done, Ms. Ali. There could have been guns ablazing when he approached Trayvon, he could have been the initial aggressor, but there just wasn`t evidence there.
So, what this is about to me is not about Florida, it`s not about "Stand Your Ground", it`s about maintaining the integrity of the system which will keep the burden of proof the highest under the law to protect all of us, white, black, Hispanic, woman, man --
ALI: No. It`s maintaining the system.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Ms. Ali, then Crystal.
ALI: It`s maintaining the system all right, the system of white supremacy.
ALI: It`s maintaining the system of white supremacy.
WRIGHT: Come on, Ms. Ali. If you want to go back in time --
ALI: This is absurd how you all think.
EIGLARSH: I`m not going to go back and forth with her.
WRIGHT: Ms. Ali --
WRIGHT: Right. If you want to go back in time and revisit slavery and you want to keep saying that we`re living in the modern day all white people are members of the Klan, please go back in time.
But let`s try to bring the dialogue into the reality of the present day.
SCHACHER: Thank you, Crystal.
WRIGHT: And what is not being discussed, what is not being discussed and what we`re all dancing around is that racism will never go away. Yes, do people still get profiled? Sure, I was in Georgetown a couple weeks ago, a black security guard from the moment I walked in the stores started walking around, he stood in front of me when I was selecting nail polish.
And I actually looked at him and I said, why are you looking at me? He said -- this is my spot for the store. I said, it`s not your spot for the store. So, yes, racism exists and that`s what we need to have a more - -
ALI: Are you kidding me?
WRIGHT: And we also need to have a meaningful conversation of what`s going on in the black race. And what is -- we need to, as President Obama said, we don`t need to have a reflection, a calm reflection on the Trayvon Martin case. We need to have a calm reflection on race relations and what is dragging black Americans down.
PINSKY: That`s what we`re trying to do tonight and every night on this program.
I want to give Michael a chance, I`ve got 30 seconds. Michael?
SKOLNIK: Look, I agree with my friend Crystal on that point. The challenge here that so -- I just saw juror number B-37 gave an interview with Anderson Cooper on the sister network CNN. And what`s so painful that she believed Serino and Serino believed Zimmerman. They all believed Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin who was six houses away from where he was staying was a John Doe.
The police didn`t even knock on a door and say, hey, does this kid live here?
SKOLNIK: Is he part of this community?
SKOLNIK: They believed he was a burglar and a robber and believed Zimmerman.
PINSKY: And I will show you some more footage from that interview. It`ll give you interesting insight into how the juror`s minds were working. I think you`ll be able to read between the lines and you may be surprised. So, stay with us for that.
And, of course, George Zimmerman`s friend and supporter Frank Taaffe joins the panel. He has -- well, we`ll find out if he`s talked to his friend since the verdict and had that pizza with him. We will find out.
And later, riveting testimony backed up Zimmerman`s story. The defense team`s medical expert will join us, after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He has to live mostly in hiding. He`s probably concerned about living still in central Florida, and never having a normal life.
REPORTER: His life will never be the same.
O`MARA: Never ever, ever be the same.
REPORTER: Where was the family when the announcement was made in court?
DARYL PARKS, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: I`ll say, they were in a safe location, remained in a safe location. They will be going to church tomorrow, but I won`t disclose their location at this time.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
PINSKY: Back with my co-host Samantha Schacher and joining the panel, this is an HLN exclusive, it is Frank Taaffe, George Zimmerman`s friend, and, of course, vocal supporter.
So, Frank, I want to know how George is doing. Have you spoken to him? What about that pizza?
FRANK TAAFFE, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S FRIEND: He`s very reflective right now and he spent -- as you would imagine, time with his family and he`s really enjoying that.
No pizza. I got him on a new regimen. It`s going to be called gym, tan and slim fast.
PINSKY: So, a little version of the "Jersey Shore" Zimmerman style? Or Taaffe style?
TAAFFE: I want to ask Ms. Ali if she`s ever heard of the name Tawana Brawley.
PINSKY: Let`s bring Ms. Ali in.
TAAFFE: If she knows about that.
PINSKY: Ms. Ali, do you know about that?
ALI: Yes, what I was trying to say before.
TAAFFE: No, no, answer the question.
PINSKY: She said, yes.
TAAFFE: You asked for --
ALI: Of course I`ve heard of her.
TAAFFE: OK. What do you think about that?
ALI: Of course I have. What I was saying is that back in the day to show that --
TAAFFE: What day?
ALI: To show things have not changed as much as we think --
TAAFFE: Ms. Ali, you`re acting like you`re living on a plantation somewhere in the South.
ALI: No. When he would do that --
TAAFFE: For a woman who was born in Brooklyn, you act like you`re from a plantation.
ALI: That child had light hair, blue eyes --
PINSKY: Frank, no personal attacks.
ALI: Oh, I`m not going to talk over him.
PINSKY: Ms. Ali, let me talk directly to you.
ALI: That child had light hair.
PINSKY: Let me talk directly to you. Let me rephrase, because people keep missing your point, is that this -- you carry something in your heart that has been transmitted to you through the generations. And these things that happen in our society remind you of that trauma. And it feels bad. And it stirs passions.
ALI: All of us.
PINSKY: I understand. You`re speaking --
ALI: All of us. Not just me.
PINSKY: Yes, ma`am. I can go to Twitter right now and I`ll find a tweet instantly that says ms. Ali speaks the truth. I`ve got lots of it.
But the fact is, you`re talking about something that Frank --
ALI: What I`m trying to say.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Ms. Ali.
ALI: What I was trying to say is that when the slave master had a child by a black female slave and that child came out with blond hair and light hair and blue eyes and light skin and it could pass for white, that slave got treated better than the rest of them because it was lighter skinned.
And so, Zimmerman benefited from being a light-skinned black man, a brown man, and so, he was able to get the same white privilege that all white people get even though slavery`s over and you may not all be aware of it.
PINSKY: OK, listen, Michael, you`ve got something to say here.
ALI: That`s what I`m saying.
PINSKY: Hang on, Frank. Michael.
SKOLNIK: Frank, Frank, Frank, I have some names for you. Emmitt Till, Medgar Evers, Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Jordan Davis --
TAAFFE: You know what, I agree with you.
SKOLNIK: -- Trayvon Martin. Do you know those names?
TAAFFE: I concur. There was a time in America when --
SKOLNIK: Oscar Grant. Can we continue?
TAAFFE: -- when there were real racists in the South. I moved from New York City to Florida in 1969 and it was still prevalent. That`s not me, man. That`s not my generation.
SKOLNIK: I`m not saying it`s you.
TAAFFE: Let it go.
SKOLNIK: But another young black man was killed and the guy walks. When will it stop?
PINSKY: Crystal --
TAAFFE: But the jury of his peers, the jury of the peers of his peers found him not guilty. Let`s move with that.
PINSKY: Crystal, do you have any questions for Frank?
ALI: Those were not his peers.
ALI: Those were not his peers.
WRIGHT: I do have a question for Frank.
PINSKY: Go ahead.
WRIGHT: I do have a question, but I want to say something first -- George Zimmerman is a Hispanic man. So, let`s stop referring to him as a white Hispanic. I guess the president would be a white-black.
OK. Frank, I want to know -- everybody is saying that it`s open season on blacks after the verdict, that basically white people can kill blacks with impunity. That`s a message the jurors sent, you know, with Zimmerman --
WRIGHT: Wait, let me finish my sentence. Let me finish my question to you. Do you think it`s really -- is it more open season on George Zimmerman`s life? I don`t know. Do you agree with that statement? That now black men have to look around and fear being killed by white men like you and Dr. Drew and Michael and Mark?
I mean, I mean or do you think George Zimmerman should be fearful of his life?
TAAFFE: George has been in fear of his life since this was ramped up by the Crump scheme team back in March of 2012. Here`s a man that the Sanford Police Department, 12 officers and a chief of police with 30-plus years and 20 of it in homicide investigation and a state attorney with 27 plus years that decided that the case had no merit. There was no probable cause.
And you know what, I think probable cause and I`m not an attorney, I don`t profess to be one. I leave that to the other lawyers, but I believe probable cause is or one of the courses that you guys take. And I can`t believe that we`re still having this conversation. We need to advance this.
PINSKY: All right. Let`s advance it.
TAAFFE: There`s been an acquittal, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Let`s talk about guns. He`s going to get -- Zimmerman gets his gun back. People feel that`s inflammatory. I know O`Mara feels he needs it.
Samantha, I think it`s inflammatory, don`t you think? Puts guns in the middle of this conversation.
SCHACHER: Yes. And all you have to do is go on your social media and people are outraged. And I think Jane said it best, it`s like rubbing salt into the wound.
TAAFFE: Dr. Drew --
ALI: They used to do that, too.
TAAFFE: -- George was carrying a concealed weapons permit prior to all this, which means he had to clear certain mandatory requirements to carry that weapon with him. It`s concealed. It`s not like the old West where he`s carrying six gun shooters --
PINSKY: I understand. At the outcome of that course --
TAAFFE: You know what, sure, I can understand there would be some outrage. But, you know what, you`ve got to get over it, man. You`ve got to work through it.
WRIGHT: But I think it`s more than outrage.
TAAFFE: You`ve got to process this.
WRIGHT: His attorney announced it.
TAAFFE: The system which is our judicial system which is still the best in the world.
PINSKY: I`ve got to go to break, Frank.
TAAFFE: Still the best in the world, reinstated his gun rights, Second Amendment.
PINSKY: I understand that. I understand that.
And, Crystal, I think it`s the announcement people are outraged against, inflaming things.
Thank you, panel. I got to take a break. Next up, the expert medical witness for the defense. His testimony seemed to have helped tip the scales and led to Zimmerman`s acquittal.
And later, what went wrong with the prosecution`s case? HLN`s Vinnie Politan and his exclusive interview with the prosecution team.
Back in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. VINCENT DI MAIO, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: If I right now reached across put my hand through your chest, grabbed your heart and ripped it out, you could stand there and talk to me for 10 to 15 seconds.
PINSKY: Dr. Vincent Di Maio is a pathologist who testified for the defense.
DI MAIO: You can see there`s a swelling right here, very prominent.
O`MARA: Dr. Di Maio and his expert testimony.
DI MAIO: Physical evidence is consistent with Mr. Martin being over Mr. Zimmerman.
DR. BILL LLOYD, PATHOLOGIST: Dr. Di Maio is a titan in forensic pathology.
DI MAIO: We know the clothing two to four inches away. It`s consistent with somebody leaning over the person doing the shooting.
PINSKY: I`m back with my co-host Samantha Schacher.
And pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio was the expert team`s -- the defense team`s expert medical witness. His testimony backed up George Zimmerman`s account of what happened the night Trayvon Martin was killed. He joins us now.
Also joining us, Brian Copeland, talk show host on KGO Radio in San Francisco, author of "Not a Genuine Black Man." Attorney Mark Eiglarsh from speaktomark.com is back. And pathologist, Dr. Bill Lloyd.
Dr. Di Maio, I want to go to you first.
Based on your findings, how do we -- what was it about your findings that led you to conclude that Zimmerman was telling the truth?
DI MAIO: OK. There were two areas. One was Mr. Zimmerman said he`d been punched in the face and in the nose. And when you look at the photographs taken at the time, the nose is deviated to the right and is markedly swollen.
Four hours later when they take the photograph, the nose is straight going up, there`s very minimal swelling. What he had was a displaced fracture which was replaced some time within those four hours. No problem there.
He also had evidence of a blunt trauma to the front of his head by something not very hard, maybe a fist. He had impact injuries to the sides of the head and two to the back of the head with laceration. These are consistent with the head being slammed against concrete, which Mr. Zimmerman said had been done to him.
So, his physical injuries were consistent with the account. There were essentially no injuries to Mr. Martin.
OK. The next thing was the gun shot wound. There was a contact gun shot wound of the two sweatshirts in the front towards the midline. In other words, the muzzle of the gun was against the sweatshirt at the time it was fired. When you looked at the autopsy photographs, you could see that there was a gun shot wound to the chest about an inch to the left of the midline, with a two by two inch area of powder tattooing surrounding the wound.
By the density and the size, this is consistent with the weapon`s muzzle having been 2 to 4 inches away from the chest at the time of discharge.
PINSKY: OK, I`ve got Dr. Bill Lloyd here. I`m interrupting you, Bill Lloyd is a fellow pathologist. He`s also one of your disciples and is deeply honored to be here speaking with you.
Dr. Lloyd, I understand you have a question for Dr. Di Maio, as well.
LLOYD: I`ll begin by remembering time spent in San Antonio down there by the Brady Green Hospital where your original facility was, Dr. Di Maio. And it`s like many of the lectures you gave over at Brook Medical Center.
But I think we could take a special perspective for the sake of the viewer and talk for a second, if you would, about expert testimony and how it`s different than what the medical examiner said? And how do you respond to people who say how can you give expert testimony if you didn`t do the autopsy?
DI MAIO: What you do is you have to examine all the physical evidence presented. The autopsy photographs, the autopsy, the photographs in this case of Mr. Zimmerman and his injuries and, then, you have to essentially evaluate them.
And in this case, what I was trying to see was whether the injuries were consistent with and confirmatory of the account given by Mr. Zimmerman. And in this case, the head injuries were and the chest injury was consistent with Mr. Zimmerman being down and Mr. Martin over Mr. Zimmerman.
PINSKY: Mark, you wanted to ask a question, go ahead.
EIGLARSH: Yes, doctor, no one asked you this question. I wonder if it`s because they feared your response. You said that the positioning with Trayvon on top and Zimmerman on the bottom was consistent. But nobody asked you, could you think throwing out Zimmerman`s testimony for a second, what other positioning could there have been? Anything else you can come up with other than what Zimmerman alleged?
DIMAIO: You would have to have Mr. Martin leaning over and Mr. Zimmerman below him maybe squatting down or pointing a gun upward. Because the key point was this, the gun has to be in contact with the sweatshirt, but the sweatshirt has to be two to four inches away from the chest. And the only way you can get this in normal circumstances is to bend over.
PINSKY: Got it.
DIMAIO: And so, the gun has to be below the chest shooting up.
PINSKY: Got it. Brian, you have a question.
COPELAND: Yes, doctor. You said that George Zimmerman`s injuries were consistent with his account, meaning that he had a broken nose and that his head had been pounded against the concrete. Now, basically, what you were able to say was that he had a broken nose, but does it necessarily mean that he got his broken nose the way that he contends?
Could there been another explanation, you know, other than Trayvon Martin punched him in the face first? And the second thing is, a lot has been made about the fact that the injuries to the back of George Zimmerman`s head did not -- were not reflective of someone who`s had their head banged against the concrete 25 times. You say that those injuries are consistent with his head being banged but that many times and that forcefully.
PINSKY: Go ahead.
DIMAIO: OK. The second question, let`s handle that first, I never said 25 times. I said there`s evidence of six impacts. That`s all I can say. Could there have been more? Yes, because you don`t have to have a laceration every time you have an impact. So, I could give you a minimum and I will say there`s more.
The other question was a nose. He had to have been hit in the nose with an object -- it couldn`t have been the concrete because you would have more confluent abrasion, scrapes. It had to be something soft. So, I`m saying is it`s consistent with him being punched in the nose.
PINSKY: Mark, up against the clock. Thirty seconds.
DIMAIO: -- blunt trauma to the nose. That`s it.
EIGLARSH: I`ve got to go back to what Brian said. I`ve got to go back to what Brian says. Slamming his head to the ground, you would think there`d be a lot more injury. You said it`s consistent with contact. Slamming? I don`t know that a head would just be like little cuts, yes?
DIMAIO: No. First of all, your scalp`s pretty tough. It has to be - - you have to use pretty good force to hit an object like concrete to get a laceration. Come on. We`ve all banged our heads. How many? How many times and no lacerations?
PINSKY: Thank you, Dr. Dimaio.
Next up, HLNs Vinnie Politan joins us to talk about his exclusive interview with the prosecution.
And later, this trial created new wounds and re-evoked old trauma, so how do we move forward? Miss Ali will join the "Behavior Bureau" after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VINNIE POLITAN, HLN ANCHOR: One word to describe George Zimmerman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Murderer.
POLITAN: George Zimmerman?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lucky.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Welcome back. My co-host is Samantha Schacher. That, of course, was the prosecution team speaking in depth for the first time since the verdict. HLN`s Vinnie Politan got the exclusive interview with them, and he joins me now.
Vinnie, congratulations, seems very exciting, very interesting. Angela Corey in that interview called Zimmerman a murder. Did she cross the line with that comment?
POLITAN: You know, it`s controversial, but this is the way I interpreted what she did. It`s what she believes and what she believed throughout this case. You know, you wonder if she -- it`s turned around and said, no, he wasn`t a murder, then people would be saying what did you charge him with murder for?
So, I think it`s her telling us her honest, honest belief and opinion about what happened that night when George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. She believes still that was murder.
PINSKY: Mark and Bryan, I want to give you a chance to ask Vinnie questions about the prosecution and this interview. Mark, you first.
EIGLARSH: Vin, did you ask them about their decision to introduce Hannity`s interview, which essentially relieved Zimmerman of having to take the witness stand?
POLITAN: I forgot, no. I asked him that, Mark, of course.
POLITAN: And this is what they were saying, Mark. And this is really interesting. Getting into the strategy of why they put the defense case in for him. They felt that case would be in anyway. To a certain extent.
And the way they were going to prove their case was by disproving his case and in their eyes and still today when I spoke to him, Bernie De La Rionda, he thought George Zimmerman`s story was ridiculous and full of so many inconsistencies and things that he didn`t think anyone would believe that he felt that was the best way to go.
PINSKY: Brian, your question.
POLITAN: Compelled to do that.
COPELAND: Well, there has been a lot of criticism of the prosecution for not putting forth an alternative theory as to what transpired that night. You know, you have the defense that laid out a theory step by step what they thought probably happened. Was there any regret on the part of the prosecution for not laying out an alternative theory?
POLITAN: No. But did you hear the word you used what probably happened? And that`s where they had a problem, because they didn`t want to ask this jury to speculate. So, what they did and what the trial strategy was -- and they thought about it. And they, you know, as a team tried to figure out how do we do this, was not to come up with that specific story because the eyewitnesses accounts were different and there were times when nothing was seen.
So, again, they come back to relying upon attacking George Zimmerman`s story. So, disproving self-defense.
EIGLARSH: Well, Vinnie, what they did was in closing argument the close close, instead of saying, look at the evidence, they say look in your heart and isn`t it the evidence that they`re supposed to look at and not speculate and kind of look in their heart to find the evidence?
POLITAN: Well, this might have you disappointed, Mark, but McDreamy didn`t show up for the interview.
POLITAN: John Guy wasn`t there. I would have asked him a little bit more about that. But the way I interpreted that, you know, that`s where Trayvon Martin was shot, so I mean, it had a double meaning, I think, throughout the argument.
EIGLARSH: I missed that meaning.
POLITAN: But again, it comes back to they were relating the evidence as they saw it. And to them, the key evidence was George Zimmerman himself. His own words which they found to be not believable, but apparently, this jury to a certain extent found his story reasonable.
PINSKY: And Vinnie, thank you so much for sharing this with us and congratulations on getting this exclusive interview with the prosecution. You can see more of Vinnie`s exclusive interview tonight 10:00 p.m. eastern time. Don`t want to miss it. It`s the only place you`re going to see the prosecution speak is with Vinnie Politan. "HLN after Dark" right after this show.
Next up, a juror in the case tells CNN`s Anderson Cooper, why she didn`t think the key witness in the case was credible. And when you hear the way she describes it, it needs to go before the "Behavior Bureau."
And later, I will give you my thoughts on the shocking death of "Glee" star, Cory Monteith. We`ll be back after this.
PINSKY: It`s time now for the "Behavior Bureau." Back with my co- host, Samantha Schacher. And joining us attorney and Sirius XM radio host, Jenny Hutt, relationship expert and HLN contributor, Tiffanie Davis Henry, social commentator, Shahrazad Ali, she`s back with us, and psychotherapist, Robi Ludwig author of "Till Death Do Us Part."
Now, the jury apparently did in fact believe the defense`s contention that George Zimmerman was a victim. Anderson Cooper spoke exclusively to one of the people, a juror, who found Zimmerman not guilty. She did not want to be identified, but here`s what she said about witness, Rachel Jeantel`s testimony.
And Miss Ali, I`m going to go to you after the tape to see if you hear what I heard and then we hear from the professionals. Take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn`t think it was very credible, but I felt very sorry for her. She didn`t ask to be in this place. She didn`t ask. She wanted to go. She wanted to leave. She didn`t want to be any part of this jury. I think she felt inadequate toward everyone because of her education and her communication skills. I just felt sadness for her.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You felt like, what, she was in over her head?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, not over her head, she just didn`t want to be there and she was embarrassed by being there because of her education and her communication skills that she just wasn`t a good witness.
COOPER: Did you find it hard at times to understand what she was saying?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of the times. Because a lot of the times she was using phrases I have never heard before and what they meant.
COOPER: When she used the phrase "creepy ass cracker," what did you think of that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was probably the truth. I think Trayvon probably said that.
COOPER: And did you see that as a negative statement or a racial statement as the defense suggested?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think it`s really racial. I think it`s just everyday life, the type of life that they live and how they`re living in the environment that they`re living in.
PINSKY: Miss Ali, what do you hear there?
SHAHRAZAD ALI, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that`s unfortunate. You know, that young woman is a product of the American educational system. In fact, she going to graduate out of high school. So, some teacher some place who have allowed her to function in that way. However, let me tell you what the deal is. When things like this happen in the African-American community, we, as Black women, we have already had problems in getting along with the Black man.
He has been shut out of the workplace. He is not able to take care of many of his responsibilities. When something like this happens, it emasculates him further. It makes him feel like he can`t protect his children, he can`t protect his woman. It makes the women feel like they can`t, you know, take care of their own children.
I have a 13-year-old. I don`t know if I`m ever letting him go outside again. This has upset all of us.
PINSKY: OK. Miss Ali, I want to go to tiffany. What do you hear from Miss Ali that you -- we can make sense of and say there`s something important to take away here?
TIFFANIE DAVIS HENRY, PH.D., PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, I think in some ways she`s right. And while we don`t want to raise agoraphobic children, we have to admit that kids can do everything right and still get harmed. And so, it is a very real fear. I totally understand it. I totally get it.
And, Dr. Drew, I don`t know a single kid myself included who did everything that her parent told her to do. I don`t know if you were that kid, Dr. Drew, but, I have to say, I don`t know too many that do.
PINSKY: That`s absolutely true.
HENRY: And so, even if you do everything your parent tells you to do, this kind of situation can still happen and that`s why this is so frightening to so many parents out there.
PINSKY: OK. I`m going to hear from other bureau after this break. Be right back.
PINSKY: Back with my co-host, Samantha Schacher, and the "Behavior Bureau." All right. So, we just heard an interview with Anderson Cooper and one of the jurors from the Zimmerman trial. Jenny, I saw you cringe particularly when she said, well, that`s just how those people speak.
JENNY HUTT, ATTORNEY: I just, yes. I mean, first of all, it made me feel yet again for Miss Ali who the other night said -- called me one of those people, referring to the other type of people. And just all of this talk makes me go bananas. And I`ll tell you why. It`s not that we can expect to be color behind, because frankly, we all can see.
But we`ve got to find a way to be color neutral. It`s enough already. And these senseless acts and these dead kids, it`s just not OK. It`s just not OK, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Robi, go ahead.
ROBI LUDWIG, PSY.D., PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I thought the jurors sounded incredibly elitist and devaluing when talking about the witness who I thought did a really great job. In fact, I saw her in the green room and I told her so myself. I mean, if we are using the way someone talks and someone`s educational level to evaluate their credibility, then, yes, that is profiling in a way.
And I think the way to get past all of this profiling and stereotyping is through education and awareness.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Sam.
SAMANTHA SCHACHER, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: Miss Ali, I have to address to you what we were discussing earlier. I just wish that we could move forward in a more tolerant way, but it`s hard for me to have respectful conversations with you when you lump all White people together and make that assumption. And isn`t it what --
ALI: No, I don`t.
SCHACHER: Hold on, really quickly. You did earlier.
ALI: No, I don`t.
SCHACHER: And let me just finish really quickly, because it`s the assumptions and the assumptions of George Zimmerman which what led to the death of Trayvon Martin in the first place. And earlier in the show, you did. You continue to say all White people were happy with the acquittal.
PINSKY: OK. Let`s have her address it. Go ahead, Miss Ali.
ALI: OK. I only mean 98 percent. But here`s the point. We have in this country because so much has happened, we have irreconcilable differences. We can`t work it out. Not really. We can try to survive together and be a civilized --
PINSKY: Miss Ali, Miss Ali.
ALI: Too much has happened to us and you all don`t even recognize.
PINSKY: Miss Ali, I believe -- hold on, everybody. Miss Ali, I believe you and I could work it out. And if you and I can work it out, why can`t other people kind of work it out too?
ALI: It`s --
ALI: That`s the different from the rest of them.
HUTT: Yes. But how could you be so hopeless? How can you believe nobody is willing to work it out?
ALI: I`m being realistic.
PINSKY: I`m going to hold you guys for a second. Tiffanie, you smiled when she said that. I was curious what you were thinking.
HENRY: You know what, I think working it out is really a choice. I think that and I said this the other night that, you know, all of our experiences are very different. I`ve been treated differently. And I have no other reason to attribute that difference except for my race. It was the only thing that I did different in the crowd full of people that were non-Black.
So, I can understand where she`s coming from, but I think to work it out is a choice. It`s a choice that I make to not make assumptions about every person that`s non-Black in my life. To see them who they are
PINSKY: The choice. Guys --
PINSKY: I have no choice. I have to go to break. I do have a choice to continue this conversation which we will each and every night.
Next up, my thoughts on the untimely death of the "Glee" star, Cory Monteith.
PINSKY: Cory Monteith star of the hit TV show, "Glee," was found dead Saturday in a Vancouver hotel. I`m sure you`ve heard the story, Samantha. It`s a very sad story. Police released a statement saying they do not suspect foul play in the actor`s death. Monteith, 31 years of age, had been open about a long-term struggle with addiction, recently checked himself into treatment earlier this year and it`s just a very sad reminder.
I mean, yes, there could be other causes of death, but when you have a young, healthy person that does, it`s almost always drugs and alcohol, particularly, somebody that struggled long-term with addiction. We have to assume that`s what happened here. They`re very vulnerable in the early stages after treatment.
They can take what is might be a sort of normal exposure to drugs and it can be enough to cause them to stop breathing. Addiction is a deadly disease. This is just a reminder of that.
Thank you, Samantha. Thank you for watching. "HLN After Dark" starts right now where you can see that exclusive interview with Vinnie Politan and the prosecution team. Stay with it.