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Piers Morgan Live
Trayvon Martin's Parents Speak Out; Zimmerman Verdict in Black and White; Interview with Kim Goldman; Aurora Victims Getting Married
Aired July 18, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Tonight you heard what Trayvon Martin's parents just told Anderson Cooper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's Mother: It came as a complete shock for me, and the reason I say that is because I just look at people as people, and I thought for sure that the jury looked at Trayvon as an average teenager that was minding his own business, that wasn't committing any crime, that was coming home from the store and were feet away from where he was actually going, and I just believe that they realized that.
But when I heard the verdict, I kind of understand the disconnect and that maybe they didn't see Trayvon as their son. They didn't see Trayvon as a teenager. They didn't see Trayvon as just a human being.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now two African-American ministers square off. One says that any black child with a hoodie could become the next Trayvon Martin, the other insists the problem is not white racism, it's black racism.
Also how does a family go on after losing a loved one in such a public way. Kim Goldman's brother was killed with Nicole Brown Simpson. One of the most notorious crimes of the century. I'll talk to her tonight.
Plus it's been a year since Aurora but their love is forever. My exclusive with the couple who vowed not to let the shooting stop their wedding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did kind of save me, so of course I want to keep him around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Want to begin, though, with Trayvon Martin's parents speaking out about the not guilty verdict for the man who killed their son.
Joining me now is Martin family co-counsel, Natalie Jackson.
Natalie, welcome back to the show. Very poignant, emotional and hard-hitting interviews that Trayvon Martin's parent have given today, no least of which with Anderson Cooper.
Let me ask you. They seem very angry about this result. How are they going to find closure given they see such injustice here?
NATALIE JACKSON, MARTIN FAMILY CO-COUNSEL: I wouldn't say they are angry. They are disappointed and I think that they are finding closure through the work they've been doing for the year and a half with the Trayvon Martin Foundation so I think that Sybrina said it best, when we talked to her after the verdict. She said that she would not let this verdict define her son. She said that she and the foundation will define who Trayvon was.
MORGAN: The prosecution went to great lengths to avoid saying this was about race but Sybrina Fulton, in particular, today made it pretty clear that she felt it was about race, that Trayvon was profiled because of the color of his skin.
JACKSON: I think what you're seeing around the country, what the protests and the demonstrations around the country that most people who are upset -- who are upset about this verdict, they believe that it's about race. We believe it's about race. It's how you see things through your lenses.
MORGAN: I want to play a clip from the interview where she talked directly about this subject.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FULTON: My older son, he likes to go out with his friends. He likes to go to the movies and things like that. I'm very afraid right now because I have no clue what to tell him. I have no clue if I should tell him to run or walk, if I should tell him to defend himself or just lay there. I have no clue to what to tell him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, when you hear a mother talking like that, there'll be lots of mothers out there nodding saying, well, what do you do. If Trayvon Martin was profiled by George Zimmerman because he looked suspicious because he wasn't moving fast enough, then he was more suspicious because he began running, what does a young teenage boy do to avoid the glare and attention from someone like George Zimmerman in the future?
JACKSON: Well, I think that, you know, the focus is now on what do we do to protect other kids so that does not happen? That's Sybrina's focus. We have a law, that -- like it or not, it's so confusing that the arrest -- the police didn't think they could arrest a killer of a child. It was so confusing that we heard the juror say that she felt she couldn't convict the killer of a child. If you have a law that is so confusing that people can't protect children, especially brown and black children, then that's a problem. That law needs to go.
MORGAN: I wanted to ask you about the juror who spoke to Anderson Cooper a few days ago made it clear the jury just didn't feel they knew enough about Trayvon Martin, particularly compared to what they knew about George Zimmerman, who she kept calling George as if they were on a very sort of cordial relationship basis which seemed a bit odd to me.
Do you think the prosecution dropped the ball in that regard and they should have had more people talking about the human being that Trayvon Martin was?
JACKSON: No, I won't criticize the prosecution. You know, I think the problem -- if you ask me one thing that was missing from that trial, it was the real discussion about how race played a part in it. Many people were allowed to ignore race. They wanted to ignore the racial implications of why George Zimmerman thought Trayvon was suspicious and why he felt it was OK to follow Trayvon with a gun and to provoke him.
And then why the jury felt it was OK that after Trayvon -- after George Zimmerman does all of this that Trayvon did not have a right to defend himself. That's the question. We won't second guess the jury, the jury has spoken, but America has to deal with those questions.
MORGAN: Natalie Jackson, always good to talk to you. Thank you very much indeed.
JACKSON: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: Now I want to turn to Reverend Liz Walker. She's an award-winning TV journalist and an ordained minister with the Roxbury Presbyterian Church. Have a lot to say about the Zimmerman verdict.
Welcome to you, Reverend Walker. What is your view about what has happened here? Everyone in America has a view. You have a pretty unique perspective. Give it to me.
REV. LIZ WALKER, ROXBURY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: I agree with your -- this -- you last guest. I think that this is an issue about race. I think it goes much deeper than one trial. I think it goes into racial profiling, how we look at our young black children and it's a -- and it's a question of how we look at violence, how we look at guns. So I think we have to have a broader conversation about all of this, and we always say that. Let's talk about it. And then nobody wants to talk about it.
We scream at each other, we don't listen to each other, but I think it's time. It's way past time to start discussing, A, our racial views in this country and how desperate they are, how different they are, depending on who they are and B, our violence, our propensity for violence in this country and how we can begin to address those two issues. MORGAN: It was quite clear from the interviews that Trayvon Martin's parents gave today that they were expecting at the very least a manslaughter conviction if they didn't get the second-degree murder. Let's take a listen to what they said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FATHER: We thought that there was enough evidence there, no matter who was on that jury to convict him of second-degree murder. And when you think about it, I think that they just took into account what George Zimmerman said was the truth. Trayvon wasn't here to tell his story. But the mindset of that -- that juror, some of them had they minds made up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, it's obvious that they would be stunned by that verdict, I think, given I've interviewed them many times. They're very decent people who have been through a terrible ordeal, their son was killed. Having said that, the race element of this is a contentious one. If Trayvon Martin had been a white teenager, there would still be huge issues, wouldn't there, about the rights of George Zimmerman to self-defend in that situation.
WALKER: And I think that's exactly the issue. It's really about Stand Your Ground. I mean, yes, race is a huge part of this. But I think we missed the point sometimes when we are going to, you know, fight at each other as opposed to looking at what the real issue is. This law, there is something really flawed about it and we need to know who is backing it, why they are backing it, why they have so much power, and what we can do to break this down and stop that. So the enemy I don't think is you and me. I think the enemy is the law.
WALKER: And how we're going to change it.
MORGAN: Yes, that's definitely how I feel about it.
Reverend Walker, stay with me. I'm going to talk to some other guests about Trayvon Martin. Before I do that I want to quickly ask you about the "Rolling Stone" cover of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev which has caused controversy because you're one of the leaders in Boston, with very strong emotions about this. What was your view of it?
WALKER: I was not nearly as upset as many of the people in Boston are. I understand them, but as a former journalist I think that, you know, "Rolling Stone" had the right to put this out because it sells magazines, it sells newspapers, and they certainly have that right to do so. It was provocative and that's what it does.
I'd love to read the article and I think that's what they want me to do. But I'm very proud of Boston to be righteously indignant about it because this is that kind of community, and I think we have every right to -- you know, to speak our views but I was not nearly as upset about it as many others were. MORGAN: Stay with me, if you can, Reverend Walker. We'll come back to you in a moment. I want to bring in now Reverend Jessie Lee Peterson. The founder and president of BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny. He's also the founder of the South Central LA Tea Party, and a man who was himself accused in a racially charged case. Raymond Santana who served eight years in a notorious Central Park jogger case before being cleared in 2002.
Welcome to you both.
Let's start with you, Reverend Peterson, if I may.
REV. JESSE LEE PETERSON, BROTHERHOOD ORGANIZATION OF A NEW DESTINY: Thank you.
MORGAN: You've said some pretty contentious things about all this. What is your view about the verdict?
PETERSON: Well, first, this case was not about race at all and what happened, you have the race hustlers and poverty pimps like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, and others who turned it into a race issue in order to gain power and wealth. And you also have Barack Obama jumping into it by saying that if he had a son, he would look just like Trayvon Martin. And I thought that was insane for him to make that type of comment. He only did that because he want to incite the anger of black Americans and others.
I've -- this case is about overturning Stand Your Ground laws and also about more gun control law, getting more gun control law passed, and it's about Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and NAACP and others using black Americans by dividing the races, intimidating white people in order to gather more power or get more power and wealth.
MORGAN: OK. Well, let me --
PETERSON: It's not about --
MORGAN: Let me ask you this, though, if for argument's sake the Facebook billionaire owner Mark Zuckerberg, who is famous for wearing hoodies, had he been walking exactly where Trayvon Martin was at 7:00 at night on a rainy dark night and George Zimmerman had seen him, do you think that he would have reacted exactly the same way, got out of his car, pursued him, reported him, and then get into a struggle which ends up with him shooting him dead?
PETERSON: If the situation that happened with Trayvon and George had been the same? Yes, it would -- the same outcome. I imagine the same outcome would have been the same but the question --
MORGAN: You really think George Zimmerman would have looked at a young white man in a hoodie and thought the same thing, that this guy is potential trouble?
PETERSON: Well, George Zimmerman would have done whatever it took to protect himself. It didn't matter to George Zimmerman the color of the man. And this notion that Trayvon Martin was some little innocent kid tiptoeing through the tulips and George Zimmerman had nothing else to do but to go out and kill him is a lie.
It's an absolute lie. And I think that for the people to mislead -- that are in control of this issue to mislead America in that manner, are very dishonest people. Trayvon Martin was a thug. His parents know that. You know that. I know that. And --
MORGAN: Don't you speak for me, sir. Don't you speak for me.
PETERSON: And heard that, know that as well.
MORGAN: Don't put words into my mouth. There is very little evidence that Trayvon Martin was a thug. The only evidence we have of him ever being violent was the altercation with George Zimmerman. A much older man who got out of his car to follow him, ignored directions to follow him, and then got into an altercation, and if you listen to the parents, they'll tell you that Trayvon Martin was clearly -- he felt in fear of his own safety. Where are his rights for self-defense?
PETERSON: Trayvon Martin -- Trayvon Martin was an example of what happens when these black boys and girls are raised in single parents household and if Trayvon Martin was such a good little kid tiptoeing through the tulips, why did they work so hard to keep his history out of the courtroom during the trial?
If he was a good guy, they should have -- they would have been happy to present that evidence, but they kept it out because they know or they knew that Trayvon Martin was a thug and that's what it's all about. He was a pot-smoking, he had been thrown out of school several times --
MORGAN: Are you saying that everyone that smokes pot --
PETERSON: He was found to have marijuana --
MORGAN: Everyone who smokes pot in America is a thug, are they?
PETERSON: Well, you know, there were pictures on his Facebook page of Trayvon Martin carrying -- having -- holding on to a gun, pot in front of him. This wasn't a good little kid. And --
MORGAN: How do you know what he was like? How do you know? I mean, you're saying everyone in America that has ever taken cannabis or ever been pictured with a gun is a thug, is that your -- is that your conclusion?
PETERSON: Before they took his information off of his Facebook page, it was out there for everybody to see.
MORGAN: Where was the evidence that he was a dangerous thug? PETERSON: And then why did they try to keep it -- I'm sorry?
MORGAN: Where was the evidence that he was a dangerous thug?
PETERSON: He would -- he had been in trouble before. He was not some little innocent kid tiptoeing through the tulips.
MORGAN: So you keep saying. So you keep saying.
PETERSON: That's the point.
MORGAN: Let me go to Raymond Santana.
PETERSON: And also --
MORGAN: Let me go to Raymond Santana, because I find that quite offensive what I've just been listening to, because is there hard evidence that Trayvon Martin was a thug in the way that he's saying. Nothing that I've seen would suggest that.
RAYMOND SANTANA, CLEARED IN CENTRAL PARK JOGGER CASE: No.
MORGAN: You went through an appalling episode in your life. You were called an urban terrorist, a rapist, you were stigmatized, one of the most reviled people in New York City and eventually had your name cleared along with the other members of the Central Park Five. What do you think about all this?
SANTANA: You know, I think that Trayvon Martin at the end of the day was a 16-year-old kid. You know, the -- when they talk about the weed smoking and they talk about --
PETERSON: He was 17 --
SANTANA: Regardless, he was 16, he was a kid. Regardless. And when you --
PETERSON: He was 17.
SANTANA: And when you talk about -- when you talk about those images, that's used against juvenile to paint a picture as they're uncontrollable, that they're up to no good. You know, that's the same thing they did to us. There were 400 articles written on us within the first two weeks of this case. And it was all about dissecting our lives, trying to paint this picture that we were animals, which led people to believe that, you know, they could turn their back on us and whatever happened to us was OK and that's why we wind up getting convicted.
And the same thing happened in this case with Trayvon Martin. The jury had no relationship, they couldn't relate to Trayvon Martin. You know, Zimmerman, he stalked Trayvon Martin. You know, he was -- he was considered a community security, community security, you know, where was the training that he went through to carry this gun. Where was -- did he have on a uniform that indicated that he was some type of authority figure? You know, Trayvon, you know, in that phone call called him a cracker because he didn't know who he was.
SANTANA: All he knew was that this man was following him. And so he did the only thing that any other brown or black kid would do and that's run.
PETERSON: You know, Piers, this --
MORGAN: OK --
PETERSON: -- guy is not being honest.
MORGAN: Wait a moment, sir.
SANTANA: No, you not being honest.
MORGAN: Wait a minute. Let's just -- let's take a short --
PETERSON: Just recently --
MORGAN: Wait a minute, Reverend Peter. We're going to take a short break, come back after the break and we'll continue this debate because this is getting interesting now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What would you like, if anything, for President Obama to do?
FULTON: At least go through it with a fine-tooth comb and just make sure all the T's were crossed and all the I's were dotted because this is setting a terrible message -- it's sending out a terrible message to young teenagers.
Trayvon was talking too slow. So should they be walking too fast? But you know, so I don't think teenagers in whole know exactly what to do now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Sybrina Fulton speaking on "CBS This Morning." Back with me now, Reverend Liz Walker, Reverend Jessie Lee Peterson and Raymond Santana.
Let me go to you, Reverend Walker, if I may. This idea that somehow Trayvon Martin was always a thug and therefore effectively got what was coming to him. I find pretty extraordinary, particularly coming from Reverend Peterson. What do you say to that?
WALKER: Well, I certainly disagree with -- respectfully to -- with Reverend Peterson. I have just moved as the minister of this church in one of Boston's toughest neighborhoods and there are hundreds of kids who look just like Trayvon Martin and before I knew these young people, and before I got to speak to them and hear some of their concerns, I don't think I would have been quite as off the deep end as Reverend Peterson but I might have thought there was something wrong with them or, you know, because they all look tough.
And I think we have to get to know our kids and we have to raise their sense of worth.
Reverend Peterson, I'm a little concerned if you're a minister that you are denigrating our self-worth as a people because I think there are a lot of young people who may look a little scary if you don't know them, but you have to get to know them. We're having a meeting tonight with about 200 young people who all look like Trayvon Martin who are going to learn how to take this battle to another level, who are going to learn how to get into the gun control battle and really raise their voices.
PETERSON: Well, Reverend. Reverend, what I wanted to say to you --
WALKER: Sir, I'm not going to debate with you because I can't.
PETERSON: I am not --
WALKER: You are way beyond my ability to handle.
PETERSON: You ought to be there --
WALKER: But I am not going to -- I'm not going to debate with you because I love the Lord.
PETERSON: You guys -- you guys are hypocrites because if you truly cared about black Americans, why aren't you upset about the 500 homicides that took place in Chicago last year?
MORGAN: You see, I think this is -- Reverend Peterson.
WALKER: Sir --
MORGAN: Let me jump in.
PETERSON: Why do you -- why do you playing a game --
MORGAN: This is such a -- this is -- Reverend Peterson.
PETERSON: You're off the deep end.
MORGAN: This is such a facile point that keeps being made. I had it with Larry Elder. I'm having it with you again. There is absolutely no problem in being angry and upset and wanting action in Chicago about all the shootings there, particularly amongst the gangs and also being angry and upset about what happened to Trayvon Martin.
We are here to talk about Trayvon Martin. I've covered Chicago many times and we're going to do so.
PETERSON: You make an interesting point.
MORGAN: The idea that somehow we can't talk about Trayvon Martin as a case that's important to America because of Chicago is ridiculous.
PETERSON: Well, we can talk about Trayvon Martin. The problem is that this reverend and your other guest as well as Obama and other NAACP and others are using this situation to divide and conquer, and I have to tell you that this sort of thing --
MORGAN: Actually the complete opposite, Reverend Peterson.
SANTANA: Complete opposite.
MORGAN: It's the complete opposite, sir.
PETERSON: America has overcome the fear of being called racist and start to say no to these race hustlers.
MORGAN: OK. Let me bring -- let me bring in Raymond Santana.
SANTANA: At the end of the day you are a reverend, man. At the end of the day you've got to answer to god for this. You know, you have a congregation.
PETERSON: I'm telling the truth.
SANTANA: You know, if a lot of people follow you, I'm pretty sure you're going to lose a lot of followers tonight because the stuff that you're saying is just idiotic, it's outrageous.
PETERSON: Why would I lose followers if I'm telling the truth.
SANTANA: You know, you're not telling the truth. All this stuff you're saying is bogus.
PETERSON: What am I not telling the truth about?
SANTANA: You call us hypocrites. What I do -- what I do --
PETERSON: One of the reasons (INAUDIBLE) to you about something.
SANTANA: Listen. Let me talk now because you talked.
PETERSON: You said that the jury did not --
SANTANA: What I do is I go around and I speak at numerous high schools.
PETERSON: Trayvon Martin.
SANTANA: I speak at numerous colleges.
PETERSON: You were not there to relate --
MORGAN: Reverend Peterson, will you -- will you let Raymond Santana speak?
SANTANA: Yes, let me speak. You do enough talking. And I speak at numerous high schools, I speak at numerous colleges, and I talk to a lot of kids about what racial profiling is, about how to conduct themselves with police. I tell them our stories so that we can be an example, so that they don't become another Central Park Five, especially dealing with, you know, the (INAUDIBLE) New York where you have 700,000 -- 750,000 people who have to stop and frisked and it resulted in maybe 1 percent arrest.
PETERSON: Why don't you tell them about the danger of walking through black communities around the country and being shot down or attacked by other black people.
SANTANA: I don't have danger walking through black communities. I'm perfectly fine when I walk through my community. I don't know about you.
PETERSON: Most black people are not.
SANTANA: Maybe you're not.
SANTANA: Because of this hogwash that you're talking about on TV.
PETERSON: This is an attempt to change the gun laws, to gain power and wealth by intimidating white Americans and we saw the same thing in the Paula Deen situation. Paula Deen said the N word -- spoke the N word 30 years ago and she admitted that she did it. And she's lost her --
SANTANA: You talking about Paula Deen. We talking about Trayvon Martin. We talking about black and brown kids. We not talking about Paula Deen.
PETERSON: Like Paula Deen in the same manner that they tried to make an example of George Zimmerman but it did not work. Thank god for that.
SANTANA: No, we're talking about the awareness, giving awareness to these kids so that nothing happens to them in the future. That's what we're talking about. We're talking about --
PETERSON: Why don't you --
SANTANA: We're talking about how we're going to stop this. What? PETERSON: Why don't you became aware on the black on black crime?
SANTANA: Crime is crime regardless. We're talking about how we're going to stop crime.
PETERSON: And you're not focused on that.
SANTANA: What are you talking about? Well, you want to stop black on black crime give people more jobs, give them more education, give them more opportunities to be successful and to be productive in life. Let's start with doing that. Let's start with doing that.
PETERSON: Piers, I do want to get this out there.
PETERSON: Rachel Jeantel, Jeantel, or whatever her name is, the so-called prime witness in this case, said in an interview recently that Trayvon -- she believed that Trayvon Martin threw the first blow at George Zimmerman, not the other way around --
SANTANA: Well, then that proved he was defending himself. He was being stalked.
MORGAN: Yes. Just to clarify that, Reverend Peterson. Trayvon Martin --
MORGAN: Trayvon Martin had no right to defend himself then in that situation? Only George Zimmerman had the right to defend himself with a gun, right?
PETERSON: Trayvon -- he had a right to defend himself but nothing came out during the trial that George Zimmerman stalked Trayvon Martin, nor did he follow him after he was told not to, and that lie is being put out there in order to divide and conquer, as well, by keeping blacks and whites angry at one another.
MORGAN: The problem is -- the problem is --
PETERSON: And that's a shame on the reverend and anyone else who's pushing this.
MORGAN: OK. Well, the problem is, Reverend Peterson, that you're basically reacting the same way that George Zimmerman did. We don't know that he was racially motivated. We do know that he looked at Trayvon Martin and started talking about A-holes and f-ing punks getting away with it.
SANTANA: That's right.
MORGAN: That's how he saw Trayvon Martin. That's exactly how you see Trayvon Martin. You saw him as a horrible nasty thug who got what was coming to him. There is no evidence that that is the case.
Now let me give the final word here -- let me give the final word here to Reverend Walker. This is one of the problems, isn't it, Reverend Walker, that it's such a divisive issue, on all sides.
WALKER: Absolutely --
MORGAN: You know, black, white, black against black. There is no sensible calm debate about this. It reminds me of the gun control debate, which is so extreme on all sides.
MORGAN: How do you see a way through? You're at the cutting edge of trying to deal with this? How do you see a way through this?
PETERSON: But, Piers, why do his family --
MORGAN: No, no, Reverend Walker is talking now, sir. Reverend Walker is talking now, sir.
WALKER: I'm trying to talk. Thank you very much, Piers. I think that what we've heard today is exactly what you're talking about, people talking at each other and not really listening. We have young people in our community here in Roxbury who are actually going to take this to the next level. This is a movement. If you're upset about this, if you have a point to make about this, this is a movement.
PETERSON: This is not a movement.
SANTANA: Yes, it is.
WALKER: To change the way we think.
SANTANA: It is a movement.
WALKER: And people are going to this next generation --
PETERSON: This is not a movement. Trayvon is not a hero.
WALKER: Who is this man? Where did you get this man from?
SANTANA: I said the same thing. I said the same thing, Reverend Walker.
WALKER: Sir, can you be respectful?
PETERSON: Trying to turn a thug into a hero.
SANTANA: I want to know that, too.
PETERSON: It's a shame.
MORGAN: He's not a hero, Reverend Peterson. What he is --
PETERSON: This guy was a thug. He's not a hero.
MORGAN: What he is, Revered Peterson, is a dead teenage boy. That's what Trayvon Martin is.
SANTANA: That's right.
MORGAN: A dead teenage boy.
PETERSON: But he was not a hero.
MORGAN: He's not claiming to be a hero. He's not here to defend himself.
PETERSON: But --
MORGAN: The way that you -- the way that you are deducing him and making him sound like just a horrible thug, I think does a great disservice to you as a minister. It really does.
OK. We're going to leave it there. Reverend Walker, Reverend Peterson, Raymond Santana, thank you all very much indeed.
Coming next, high profile crime, a shocking jury verdict before Zimmerman, that was O.J. Simpson. I'll talk to Kim Goldman, the sister of murder victim Ron Goldman. That's coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury in the above entitled action find the defendant, Orenthal James Simpson not guilty of the crime of murder in violation of Penal Code Section 187A, a felony upon Ronald Lyle Goldman, a human being, as charged in count two of the information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: We all remember that moment, of course. Two high- profile murder cases, two juries sharply criticized for returning not guilty verdicts, leaving the families of the victims to grieve in public.
There are parallels to the Zimmerman trial and O.J. Simpson trial.
Joining me now is Kim Goldman. She believes that Simpson murdered her brother, Ron Goldman, and she's in the chair with me tonight.
Kim Goldman, thank you for joining me. What is your reaction to all the controversy over this George Zimmerman trial? KIM GOLDMAN, SISTER OF RON GOLDMAN: Well, it obviously strikes a -- nerve to me, so I think that I understand that people are having a hard time with the verdict, but if you pay attention to the trial and you pay attention to the facts and evidence, that the verdict stands and I think that it was an accurate one, but I can appreciate where people are filled with emotion.
MORGAN: Do you feel that race inevitably, as it did in the trial involving O.J. Simpson, that race was at the center of this trial?
GOLDMAN: No, I don't think that race was the center. There was no facts in evidence to present that, any more than it was in our case. I think the discrimination and race and intolerance and the lack of humanity is what drives most cases and what allows people to get so upset.
I mean, if you look at the big picture, we have a lack of regard for human life in this country and the way we treat each other and that's what bred itself into this case.
MORGAN: I suppose the racial aspect that would be a parallel between the two trials was that you had a predominantly black jury in the O.J. Simpson case, who acquitted him very quickly. Here you had a predominantly white jury who acquitted George Zimmerman very quickly. That is where many people believe there is an inequality, an unfairness, if you'd like.
GOLDMAN: Well, I mean, I guess if you break it down that way, but our cases were drastically different. I mean, our case, we had a black defendant with white victims with hundreds of pieces of evidence to only point to one person's guilt, and the Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin situation, it was different. It was a self-defense case, if you believe that evidence, and I don't believe it was racially charged, and it's unfortunate that that's where the conversation always lies.
I mean, again, I think we need to get bigger and more global and think about how we treat each other and how we -- how we have a lack of regard for human life.
MORGAN: Right. But as -- the point I was going to make, really, was that in your trial, for example, involving the death of your brother and others, having such a predominantly black jury, do you feel that the race element of that, of the jury selection led them to acquit somebody who many people believe should have been convicted because some people are saying in the Zimmerman trial that had you had more African-Americans on the jury than they would have related better perhaps to Trayvon Martin, to his background, to the star witness Rachel Jeantel, and you could perhaps have had a different verdict?
GOLDMAN: Well, I guess that's the case in every trial, depending on who the jurors are. I think it's sad if we're always bringing it back to race and we're not giving anybody the benefit of the doubt that they actually listen to the evidence and paid attention to the evidence, and made a decision based on that. I think it's gratuitous now when we have to say that we just have to respect the verdict but we do. And until we're willing to make changes on, again, a more global sense, and we're all willing to show up for jury selection, we really don't know what goes on in that room. We have to pay attention to the -- to the evidence and trust what decision they made was a just one.
MORGAN: Trayvon Martin's parents are feeling the same burning sense of injustice that you felt. Obviously very different cases. And I wouldn't ask you to compare that. But in terms of how you move on when you feel that injustice, you're a good person to talk to about that. Do you ever get any sense of closure?
GOLDMAN: No. Closure is a word that we don't use in my house. Honestly, you know, grief and loss stays with you and it takes all different forms and it's been 19 years for us, and the loss of my brother is still right in the front of my brain, and I feel for the Trayvon family and for all victims across this country, the hundreds of people that are killed minutes -- every minute of this day. We all are struggling and suffering in such a tragic way.
MORGAN: Let's take a short break. I want to come back and talk to you about whether Trayvon Martin's parents should consider a civil action now in their case because, obviously, we had that in the O.J. Simpson case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FATHER: We are the face of Trayvon. The jury, that courtroom, we needed to be in the courtroom to let the court see that we were Trayvon. He wasn't there to defend himself, to tell his side of the story. We couldn't tell his story, but we wanted to assure them that we were there 110 percent for him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Trayvon Martin's parents are grieving and devastated tonight. They feel justice was not served in their case ad does Ron Goldman's sister, Kim Goldman, who's back in the chair.
Kim, I know that you've already said that you believe that the verdict was probably the correct one in the George Zimmerman trial but notwithstanding that, you took civil action against O.J. Simpson. In the end he wasn't able to meet the punishment, but did that give you any form of satisfaction that there was at least some form of accountability? And would you recommend that course of action to people who feel a sense of injustice?
GOLDMAN: Absolutely. I mean, that's what the civil system is in place for. It's to give power back to victims and survivors that don't get justice, they feel justice in the criminal case, in the criminal system.
It was -- it was fantastic for us to be able to hear 12 people unanimously determine that he was responsible for the murders of my brother and Nicole. There was nothing better than to hear that. The problem, though, is that he walked out the same door that we did leaving court that day. And having a civil verdict stating that he was responsible is only worth the paper that it's written on because he's been able to escape justice from that trial, as well, but I absolutely would support any family going into the civil case -- in the civil system to pursue. It does shift things and it's very empowering.
MORGAN: Has it brought you any satisfaction, perhaps a sense of karma that O.J. Simpson is currently incarcerated and maybe for a very long time for another offense?
GOLDMAN: I love it. I love it. That was a great day for our family. I was very fortunate to be able to be in the courtroom that day. And I loved getting to watch him walk back into the room that led him to his jail cell.
But, you know, I think, again, going back to the Zimmerman verdict, I think what people struggle with is that morality and legality don't always mesh and I think people have a hard time when justice and the law aren't -- are not married and we're all bred to believe that that's what the system is afforded to us and it's just not. And it's taken me a long time to come to terms with that, and I -- I valiantly support people that want to protest the verdict, but protest where it's effective.
Protest where your lawmakers are involved, with your lobbyist, with your legislators, with -- and know who's in charge. Vote, stand up, vote, stay educated, and show up to jury selection. I'm a big proponent to that. I wish I would be able to get picked one day but I won't be.
MORGAN: But actually you make a very good point there. And it tallies with actually what Juror B37 said in an exclusive statement to CNN. She said, "My prayers are with all those who have the influence and power to modify the laws that left me with no verdict option other than not guilty in order to remain within the instructions."
MORGAN: "No other family should be forced to endure what the Martin family has endured." Now I totally concur with what you just said because, you know, in just though it may seem, you can't really blame George Zimmerman. He has been well-defended under the current law. Now if the law gets changed then --
GOLDMAN: Yes, and I --
MORGAN: -- then another person in the future does the same thing, maybe held to a different legal standard.
GOLDMAN: And honestly, that's what a lot of victims and survivors do in the aftermath of their tragedy is they go on to make the difference and pave the way for future inevitable victims because that's how laws get changed. That's where our efforts and our energy goes to good use.
Looting the streets and setting up our neighborhoods on fire and stroll -- you know, forming -- flowing into the freeways to stop traffic is not an effective way to declare your message and to declare you protest. So use that energy to good causes and get involved where it matters, and that's in the legislative level and, you know, being involved in your communities and being educated about the laws that protect you and the ones that don't protect you.
MORGAN: What is your actual view about self-defense and Stand Your Ground and so on?
GOLDMAN: Well, I mean, I guess if I was ever in that situation, I'd be very happy for the self-defense law. I think here it got really blurred. I think people are still confused about Stand Your Ground. I mean, it wasn't used as a defense in this case and I think people are again very confused about that.
I think there is lots of room for improvement with many of our laws, with our jury system, I'm not a big fan of it. I'm a proponent of it but I think it has work to be done. We don't really celebrate our civic duty in this country. We vilify people for their verdict sometime. But again, I go back to the big picture for me, and it's about humanity and it's about treating each other with kindness and tolerance and love.
Lead with love. I mean, all these conversations about what am I going to tell my African-American son, I want to say the same conversation I'm going to -- have with my Caucasian one, and that's live with love, live with your heart. Be compassionate. Stay focused, stay attentive to laws, don't break laws, be respectful, be honorable, be a volunteer, give back.
I mean, go back to the basic principles that our country was founded on which is love thy neighbor. And I feel like we've lost our way.
MORGAN: Kim Goldman, it's been really fascinating to talk to you. It really has.
GOLDMAN: Thank you.
MORGAN: You're extremely impressive on this subject. You should talk more about it. And it exactly hit the nail on the head, I think, about what the real issues are. Thank you very much indeed for joining me.
GOLDMAN: Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: And on the subject of love, love conquers all. A couple wounded in the mass shooting in the Aurora movie theater are getting married one year to the day after the attack. Their story of hope and strength coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Shooting at Century Theaters, 14, 300 East Alameda Avenue. They're saying someone's shooting in the auditorium. There is at least one person that's been shot, but they're saying hundreds of people just running around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: One year ago on Saturday, a gunman opened fire at the midnight screening of the "Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colorado. Twelve people were killed in the mass shooting and 58 were injured. James Holmes has just pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Tonight, two survivors from Aurora join me with their story of strength and hope.
Kristin Davis and Eugene Han say God protected them that night and this Saturday they're getting married.
Welcome to you both. And what a lovely story to bring to an end what must have been an awful, awful year for you both.
EUGENE HAN, AURORA MOVIE THEATER SURVIVOR: Yes, thank you, Piers. It wasn't -- I guess you can say it was awful that night. You know, but like you were saying, God did protect us. So we're here today.
MORGAN: Kristin, take me back to that terrible night. You had gone to the movies just to watch a film, as many millions of Americans do. What is your memory of what happened?
KRISTIN DAVIS, AURORA MOVIE THEATER SURVIVOR: I remember just, you know, us having fun and it was a little uncomfortable because there was so many people there. And then, you know, just out of nowhere, like, big boom noise and like it just went crazy. I remember Eugene pulling me to my chair and I was just like some way, somehow just getting out of there. So it was just -- it was just a really crazy night.
MORGAN: I mean, Eugene, you were a bit of a hero there. You also got shot in the knee and the hip. First of all how are your injuries? Are you fully recovered? And second, in that moment, what made you react the way that you did?
HAN: Before actually my parents kind of taught me to be aware of my surroundings. I never thought that I'd get shot at or anything, but that kind of teaching kept me aware that night. But I just had a gut feeling that something bad was going to happen, and when I looked around, there was no one there. So I kind of ignored that feeling.
But when James Holmes walked in that night, you know, I knew something was going to happen because no one really walks through an exit door, especially through an exit door. So I pulled her down. It was more of a reaction for me. I didn't see her come down with me. She was still in her chair, and all the shooting happened and she was down right next to me. So I made sure that, you know, James Holmes couldn't get to her, if anything, you know, at least put my body between her and the shooter. But as you know, ARs, they go through chairs like butter so.
MORGAN: Yes, I do know the damage those weapons cause. But are you OK physically yourself now?
HAN: Yes. I can walk and run and, you know, move around, which is nice. The doctors did a very good job on me. I still do have shrapnel inside my hip. And that's going to be with me for the rest of my life. And a little bit of soreness. But other than that, you know, I'm walking around again so.
MORGAN: The question, I mean, obviously this guy was a bit of a hero to you. Was that part of your thinking when you said yes to his marriage proposal?
DAVIS: Oh, yes. It was romantic in the way he proposed. But it was just -- it brought me back to that night and how he did kind of save me. So of course, I want to keep him around.
MORGAN: Why did you choose, Kristin, the anniversary to get married?
DAVIS: Actually, Eugene chose it, not me so --
HAN: Yes. The decision was kind of right after the proposal actually. We were driving back from Texas and I asked her if she would want to get married on that date. Well, my thought process was everyone has a date that they want to get married on, and it means something special to them. And for us, it was a night of, you know, terror and horror and all that stuff, but we wanted to change the date and, you know, kind of make it our own.
But yes, it wasn't really her decision. I kind of scared her at first and she had to think about it but yes.
MORGAN: Well, I think you're entitled to take a few decisions given the fact that you were so courageous that night. And it's great to talk to you both. It's great that you're getting married. As I said at the start, a lovely way to end what must have been an awful year for you and your families and all the families involved in that dreadful night. And I wish you all the very best and a long lasting happiness together.
HAN: Awesome. Thank you very much.
DAVIS: Thank you.
MORGAN: Great to see you both. Thanks very much. We'll be right back.
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, the interview that everyone in America is still talking about, my one-on-one exclusive with Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon Martin's good friend, was the prosecution's star witness in the George Zimmerman trial. Now she's speaking out about the case, the shocking verdict and how race played a part in the trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL JEANTEL, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FRIEND: My area, we -- for Trayvon, I can say one thing, we don't do -- make him go crazy, it just make him go hungry.
MORGAN: But he did --
JEANTEL: Like this is his snack. It make him hungry.
MORGAN: Did he take a lot of weed?
MORGAN: How much would you say?
JEANTEL: Like twice a week.
MORGAN: Twice a week?
MORGAN: Is that normal for teenagers in your community?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Much has been said about Rachel Jeantel. Now you get to hear from her herself. That's tomorrow night.