tv Politics Nation MSNBC April 11, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
and mayor brown, we'll be back with a special live edition of "hardball." "politicsnation" starts right now. >> welcome to "politicsnation," i'm martin bashir, reverend al sharpton will be here laty9ñ he is in washington at the national action network, and he will be live with an interview with trayvon martin's parents. here is the special prosecutor, angela corey. >> good evening, everyone. i'm angela corey, the special prosecutor for the trayvon martin case. just moments ago we spoke on the phone with sybrina fulton and tracey martin. we told them weeks ago that we would get answers for their questions no matter where the quest led us.
and it is the search for justice for trayvon that has brought us to this moment. the team here with me has worked tirelessly looking for answers in trayvon martin's death. i want to introduce to you one of my top homicide prosecutors, and john guide, my other top homicide investigator. also is jim madden from the florida department of law enforcement, dominic pate, our sheriff john rutherford. we appreciate so much all of their cooperation in this. i especially want6ii to thank m two investigators who have spent countless hours doing what they do best, investigating homicides. allow me to take a moment to acknowledge our governor, rick scott and his office, attorney
general pam bondi, andç bobby o'neil for their continuing support of the appointment of this case and the support of the investigation. we spoke with all of them briefly and informed them of the results of our investigation and our plan as we continue. i can tell you we did not come to this decision lightly. this case is like a lot of the difficult cases we have handled for years here in our circuit. and we made this decision in the same manner. let me emphasize that we do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition. we prosecute based on the facts of any given case and the laws of the state of florida. when they appointed us to this case less than three weeks ago, i want you to know that these two fine prosecutors, despite all that is on their plate already, handling all of the homicides in the fourth judicial circuit and supervising the
other young lawyers, they willingly took this case on and said they will lead this effort. we launched an intensive investigation building on all of the work that sanford police department and the state attorney's office in seminal county had already done. unless you have been a law enforcement officer or a prosecutor handling a difficult case, you cannot know what it's like to launch this type of investigation and come to the right conclusion. the supreme court has defined our role on numerous occasions that we're not only administerers of justice, butç seekers of truth. we prosecute on facts that the great and sovereign state of florida, and that's the way it will be in this case. when we took our oath of office in 2009, we pledged not only to look out for our precious victims of all of our cases, but
also to adhere to the rules of the criminal justice system, and the rules of our constitution and statutes that protect a defendant's rights as well. when we charge a person with a crime, we are equally committed to justice on their behalf as we are on our victim's behalf. so we're here to do that on behalf of our victim, trayvon martin, and on behalf of the person responsible for his death, george zimmerman. we'll continue to seek the truth in this case. every day our prosecutors in this country have difficult cases and they adhere to the same standard. a quest to always do the right thing for the right reason. there is a reason cases are tried in the court of law, not in the court of the public and not by the media. because details have to come out
in excruciating and minute fashion. it's only then when the trier of fact, a judge or a jury, getting all of those details, that then the laws applied to that and a decision can be rendered. we will adhere to our obligations and the rules of evidence in presenting this case that way. today, we filedç an inform charging george zimmerman for murder in the second degree. with the filing of that, he will have a right to appear in front of a mag strait in seminal county, and then formal prosecution will begin. we thank all of the people across the country that have sent positive energy and prayers our way. continue to pray for trayvon's family and our prosecution team. i want to thank mr. crump and parks who have stayed in touch
daily with us on behalf of our victim's family. remember, it is trayvon's family that are our constitutional victims and who have the right to know the critical stages of these proceedings. ly entertain some questions, but remember we have strict rules of ethics and strict rules of criminal procedure and we will be adhering to those rules. >> one at a time. >> i will confirm that mr. zimmerman is indeed in custody. >> can you tell us where? >> i will not tell you where. that's for his safety and everyone else's safety. >> i'm sorry -- >> can you tell us what led to your decision today? was there one single piece of evidence? >> we don't discuss the evidence in a case, it would be improper to do so. it was a full investigation, full facts and circumstances that lead us to any decision in any case.
>> did he turn himself in or was he arrested. >> he turned himself inç and w arrested on the capeous. >> remember, we need proof beyond a reasonable doubt. >> but it's been 45 days, you talk about the process, did you drop the ball on the investigation? >> i can tell you the investigation was under way by the sanford police department, the investigation was in full mode, and the governor appointed us less than three weeks ago, and we took the work they had done, which was significant, we carried on with that work, and we arrived at our decision approximately last week. and then, of course, following proper florida law and procedure, we had to make sure we had everything in place to issue this and make this arrest?
>> yes, sir? >> can you tell us what it was about what you uncovered that lead you to refuse the self-defense claim. >> that's what will be in court, detail by detail, piece of evidence by piece of evidence, factual evidence, testimonial evidence, that's why we try cases in a courtroom. >> can you tell us if mr. zimmerman is in the state of florida, is there a bonding process under way. >> i can tell you that in seminal county, and i want to thank the chief judge, he informed us they have a bond schedule there. there is originally no bond, but that mr. zimmerman's lawyers will be)entitled to request a bond and then a hearing will be held. they are a common occurrence, and that's where that will be determined as to whether or not no bond, which is the bond set currently, will be changed by
the court. yes, ma'am. >> have you determined whose voice is criming for help -- cr the 911 tape? >> why did it lead you to a second-degree murder charge? >> i don't believe that question is accurate in the sense that when you have a homicide, florida's jury instructions even say that before you can reach a degree of homicide, you have to determine whether a person has committed an excusable homicide or a justifiable homicide. all murders are homicides, but not all homicides are murders. and florida law clearly says that if there is an affirmative defense, like justifiable homicide, that should be determined before you go to the degree of the crime.
the only slight delay was the fact that the governor stepped in and appointed us to take this case over and handle it and we did. >> if they had conducted a full investigation, do you believe sanford police would have arrived at the same conclusion? >> we worked together with our law enforcement officers here as you see. i have my sheriff and under sheriff here. we work with all of our law enforcement agencies where we 9ñ prosecutors are law enforcement as well and we work these with our investigating agencies and we try to come to as many mutual decisions as we can. this case informs that process when the governor stepped in and appointed us to take it over. we have continued to work with the sanford police department. we got full cooperation and all of those significant documents, and then bernie and john, and they're team took this over, and did a lot more work, and we came to our conclusion based on the facts and florida's law.
yes, sir. >> yes, ma'am. the maximum sentence for second-degree murder be life in prison. is it your dire as the prosecutor of this case to see mr. zimmerman go to jail for life. >> we don't make that determination at this time. we get this case through the court system, and then and if it goes to the trier of fact is the judge or the jury, once there is a decision, then we would concern ourselves with the sentence. >> have you been contacted by mr. zimmerman. >> i have not been contacted, i think he has retained new council in the last couple of hours. >> when he turned himself in what was his demeanor. >> one of the specific things we're not allowed to discuss is the statements of a defendant charged with a crime. it's a constitutional protection that you should be happy that
law enforcement affords every person charged with a crime. >> is mr.ç zimmerman -- >> i will not comment on where he is, he is in the custody of law enforcement officers in the state of florida, and he will be taken, when it's appropriate for the appropriate appearance in front of a judge. yes, sir? >> would norm wolffinger have arrived at the same decision? >> i speak for angela corey. this is the decision we came to based on our review of the facts and evidence. i'm not sure they were through with the entire investigation at the point where mr. wolfinger excused himself from the case. we have to have -- there are pneumonia rus affirmative
defense that's can be asserted before the arrest, immediately after the arrest, during the trial. we have had them come up in the middle of trial. my fellow prosecutors that his here we have all faced this before. alibi is an affirmative defense, sometimes that's put on us in the middle of a trial. it makes a prosecution more difficult. we do everything in our power to take the facts we have and prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. >> can i get your opinion for what the debate is about race and justice. in the pursuit of justice? >> i'm going to be quite honest with you, and i have some people who live through our justice system here and are some of the finest people in jacksonville, florida. they represent aç small samplef the people that know that those of us in law enforcement are committed to justice for every race, gender, and every person of any persuasion whatsoever. they are our victims.
we only know one category and that's a v, it's not a b, w, or h, it's v for victim. that's who we work tirelessly for. and that's all we know. and we still have to maintain the constitutional rights. remember our role, administering justice. >> -- retracing the steps of everything that happened. >> we sometimes reinterview, we thoroughly go through the reports, try to gather more evidence. a lot of the witnesses hd already made statements in public before we took over this case. so a thorough review of all of the statements made was done, and i can tell you i have the finest prosecution team every. i know every boss feels that way, but ahead to people have the best experience you can ask for. i'm sorry, i'll get to you. >> there are new witnesses who
you encouraged in that process? >> florida is a full discovery state, and when and if the defense requests participation in the process, the1z witness lt will be released at that time. >> under florida law, a person is considered to have immunity under the stand your ground law. i'm curious, what in your mind -- what can you say about the facts that made you think that that immunity was waived and notç going to be -- >> i'm sorry, i thought i articulated very clearly we don't discuss the facts of the case for a reason. we're law enforcement, this is the criminal justice system. people's rights have to be protected. it's designed a certain way not only the constitution of the united states and the state of florida, we have rules of criminal procedure and rules of ethicings. so much information got released on this case that never should have been released. we have to protect this investigation and this
prosecution for trayvon, his family, and for george zimmerman, and that's what we'll continue to do. >> did you talk to george personally at all. >> we do not talk to them unless he waives his right to counsel, we never had to address that situation. >> yesterday, the attorneys that were speaking for mr. zimmerman said they had to refute themselves because they had not been in contact with him. can you shed any light at all on how mr. zimmerman came to turn himself in? >> i cannot. it's a coordinating process, and law enforcement has had this under control since we've got then case. and i know there was a lot of speculation about oh my goodness, does law enforcement know where he is, do we have this under control? this is what we do every single day on behalf of our community. it's what fdle does every single day on behalf of the citizens of this great state. the governor and pam bondi put
all of the resources they could on this case, and i don't think there was ever a concern that if the decision was made to charge mr. zimmerman that it would be madeç in a timely fashion and w enforcement would is have it under control to take him into custody. >> do you expect the trial to be in seminal county? >> we don't know that yet. >> the attorney said yesterday that he contacted you, can you talk about what happened when you received that phone call. >> what happens with every phone call, a message was taken, bernie handled it, but we called his lawyers, we don't talk to someone represented by counsel because of our rules of ethics, so no contact was made, we have a case where a victim was a former marine, and he was shot
at a gas station for a few dollars. we will fight just as hard in this case. >> the department of justice, thank you for asking, they conduct their own investigation. i've been in contact with bobby o'neil, one of the department of justice people that helped us with a lot of the civil rights contacts and issues. he is helping us, a whole slew of doj lawyers are helping, but they're not working on our part and we don't work on their part. we always share information with our federal counter parts on numerous cases when and if it's needed. >> you said you don't want to discuss the facts of the case, but by the actions you're taking, you're basically making a statement that you do not believe that stand your ground is a plausible defense, can you at least addressç the fact tha you by taking this action and arresting him, you are saying stand your ground in your mind does not come into play in this
case. >> this case is just like many of the shooting deaths we've had in our circuit. if stand your ground becomes an issue, we fight it. if we believe it's the right thing to do. so if it becomes an issue in in case, we will fight that affirmative defense. >> how would you say stand your ground is affected your job. >> my prosecutors and a lot of them are here, and i'm so proud of them. they have worked tirelessly running this office. they fight the stand your ground mogss. mr. moodie just finished a four day stand your ground motion on this case. we fight hard. some of them we have won, the defense has appealed and we won it on appeal. some we fought hard and the judge ruled against us. that has happened all over the state. it's the law of the state of florida, and it will be applied. >> do you think it's enjoked too much? >> justifiable use of deadly
force as we all knew it before stand your grown was still tough to overcome, but we still fight these cases law. i will not comment on the specific law at this time. we're law enforcement, we enforce the laws of florida, and if that law is an affirmative defense like al buy, insanity or entrapment, we'll handle it accordingly. >> were you talking about -- >> seminal county is absolutely the venue. soç right now it's the court o juris dix, it is the venue, the question was did we think we would be able to try the case there -- i thought -- was that your question? >> yeah, where it will be tried will be made closer to when and where we pick a jury. >> based on pretrial publicity, tell us your concerns about what you have heard and seen out there and what affect it will
have on a jury. >> you asked about my concerns, i'll tell you. there's been a overwhelming amount of publicity in this case that does not keep us from being able to pick a fair and impartial jury. the state and the defense are entitled to an impartial jury. a lot of facts got put out. a jury is not allowed to render a decision until everything is in front of them. they're instructed they can't form a decision until they heard everything. it's regrettable that so many facts and details got released and misconstrued, but we hope that a lot of it, and the media has helped toning it down and making sure that people understand florida law and the process, and we hope that people will continue to do that. >> you said before that you looked closely at how the police conducted their investigation. looking back, would yowl say
their investigation was thorough. >> well i will not comment on that other than they were a tremendous help to us and had already done a lot of witness interviews. they did what the police do. when you have a shooting scene, and there isç a person who's death is caused, they launch an investigation. before the investigation could be finished there was a lot of outcry about this case, and then it changed course, and we got appointed to take over the investigation. >> based on the details you know of the case, and what happened that evening, do you think it's reasonable to expect that there should have been an arrest that evening? >> we have numerous homicides where immediate arrests are not made. and so to us, it did not seem unusual. i think judgment has to be made when the final decision is reached. and that's what we would have hoped the public would have waited for. but some people did not wait. and so an arrest can only be
based on probable cause. so we believe that's what the sanford police department was trying to do, and if there is any sort of determination as to what they did or didn't do, that will be handled by someone other than our prosecution team. yes, sir? >> last question. >> you invoked the name of trayvon martin's parents at the beginning. can you share on the length and topics in that conversation? >> i think that after meeting with trayvon's parents that first monday night after we got appointed in this case, bernie was there, john there was, our prosecution team was there, the first thing we did was pray with them. we opened the meetings in prayer. we did not promise them anything. in fact, we specifically talked =uqjez criminal charges do not come out of this, what can we
help you do to make sure your son's death is not in vain? and they were very kind and very receptive to that. and as i stated, we have been in touch with mr. crump, and mrs. fulton, and mr. martin. we only had a few minutes to talk to them. they will want to talk later, and they now know that charges have been filed and they are now hearing, as we speak, that george zimmerman is in custody of law enforcement of our state. we're very proud of the job that law enforcement has done and we're proud to stand here and tell you that we represent the people of the state of florida. thank you so much. >> the that was special prosecutor angela corey telling america, in effect, that mr. george zimmerman has been charged with murder in the second degree. she spoke of how she met trayvon
martin's sweet parents three weeks ago. she said the meeting opened with prayer. they have been kind and respectful throughout. she described her department as seeks justice and working tirelessly for the truth. she also thanked governor rick scott for his continuing support. she mentioned that mr. zimmerman was taken into custody today. he turned himself in, but she also said that there has been detailed coordination with law enforcement and they have had access to mr. zimmerman. they know where he has been for three weeks. she also said that he is in the stateo! florida, though she would not give any further details about that. joining us now is kendall coffey, a former federal prosecutor and attorney in florida. your immediate reaction there to special prosecutor angela corey's public statement. >> the charge is very
aggressive. the presentation masterful. a very good civics lesson about the process. and in part a very compelling statement about her commitment to victims. an etch sis overand over again that this was business as usual despite the huge amount of public interest. and she did a heck of a job explaining that while she redid the investigation, not a word of criticism for everyone involved. simply prays for the team working together. i give it an a plus. >> we have eugene jay donald. what did you think when she explained there was excusable and justifiable homicides, and she wanted to determine which this was. it seemed to me that she was suggesting in a mr. zimmerman would have problems using the
stand your ground law as his defense. >> i agree her presentation was masterful, it's matter of fact, common sense, and what you're accustomed to hearing in prosecutor's offices. there's okbstacles, it's not a walk in the park, there will be an issue about stand your ground, justitication, witness statements don't match up, welcome to the world of criminal prosecution. nothing is perfect, but this is the tone you expect the prosecutor to have, very deliberate, responsible, and i think she is convinced that this is a case that should be pursued. >> and mr. george zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder. the state has to one prove the victim is e dead. two that the death was caused by a criminal act by a defendant, and three that the victim unlawfully was killed by an act eminently dangerous to another
and demonstrating a depraved mind without regard have kather judge with us, do you think angela can prove that? >> we all news to see the evidence, but what you have here is a kichgs where we know the neighborhood watch did not permit you to carry a gun. we know he is on the phone with 911 and they're telling him to stay in the car. we know the time sequence was literally five or six minutes from the time he got off the call until the cops arrive and trayvon martin is dead. all of these sorts of things, the cry for help, i want to know the forensics. the gun residue on trayvon y she may have already seen all of this information. and if so, she seems satisfied. if those chips fall in place for her, she would have a second degree. >> i should tell our viewers
that reverend al sharpton is with the parents of trayvon martin, they will give a special then provide an interview with the parents on "politicsnation" in the minutes ahead. john, i have red everything you have written about this case, and you quite frankly have felt that it has stunk from the beginning. >> yes. there is so many unanswered questions. i'm not a prosecutor, and i agree with kendall coffey, the masterful angela corey, but just with your own eyes, so much questions were raised about what happened, and why certain things leaked out about george zimmerman's stories didn't add up with what we were seeing with our own eyes and hearing with our ears from that 911 call. from the beginning i thought this case stunk, and from the beginning i thought that the
idea that a person could shoot and kill an unarmed child, and not be in jail to at least be held accountable in a court of law, it really shook my faith in the justice system. i have to tell you martin, after watching angela corey's presentation -- >> jonathan, i'm afraid i have to leave you, reverend al sharpton is about to speak. >> let me say 45 days ago, trayvon martin was murdered. no arrest was made,ç the chieff police in sanford announced after his review of the evidence that there would be no arrest.
a outcry from all over this country came. because his parents refused to leave it there. his parents acting out of love and acting out of the principals this country is built on, decided that they would go to some abled attorneys, and they went to mr. crump and mr. parks and attorney jackson. they believed in the system. and believed that the arrest would be made. and they waited until the police chief -- let us not confuse the issue, he announced there would
be no arrest. that's when attorney crump called us, we were marching to montgomery. change.org went viral, and some of us hit the streets. i remember the night we had the first big rally. 30,000 people on that afternoon, governor scott asked to meet. he flew in and met and said he was going to apoint a special ç prosecutor. i will say publicly that i did not trust governor scott. i did not trust the appointment. i want to congratulate him and the prosecutor for being what they should be. if we did not get this far, we would condemn them. we must say that despite the
fact that we're different political parties, and different political persuasions, that tonight, maybe america can come together and say that only the facts should matter when you're dealing with a loss of life. and i think that the prosecutor, and i think that the governor, did not make a decision based on public pressure. but i think they decided to review it based on public pressure. i think they would not be responsible enough to proceed with a prosecution based on pressure. but had there not been pressure, there would not have been a second look. and i think that that credit should go to the nameless, faceless people, black, white, latino and asian all over this country that put hoods on and
said take another lock at this, and that look has lead to where we are tonight. they will attack the big names. and they will give credit to the big names. but it's the unkoín people that took their time and money and stood up and said that that could be my son. that could be my grandson. and because of a second look, even conservatives on the other side of the political spectrum said we're going to take a second look and do what is right. they charged him with a serious crime. he deserves a fair trial. we do not want anybody high fiving tonight. there is no victory here. there is no winners here. they lost their son. this is not about gloating, this is about pursuing justice. we have not won anything. all we have done is establish
that we must have the right to redress this. we will monitor the trial every step of the way. we will stand by and make sure that the rights of all are not violated. but this is not a night for celebration. this is a night that should have never happened in the first place, and we are trying to make sure that something happens so this will not happen again. are we happy with the charge? are we happy with the results? i would say that we must say that if americans come together they can achieve things. i remember has iç bring attorn crump, as we marched in selma, a
man was asked how did he feel after the voting rights, he said we ain't where we ought to be, ain't where we're going to be, but thank god we ain't where we was. we don't know where tonight will lead, but at least we have a shot at this family having the right redress, and that is because of first, the courage of attorney parks, and the attorney ben crump. >> reverend sharpton, all of the clergy, black and white, thank you for saying it is about justice, justice, justice, and only justice. we thank you for all of those people who went on change.org to
sign a petition, not just to think about it, but to do something. thank you for your unselfish acts, even though you did not know trayvon martin 44 days ago. you just know that a child has been killed. a child who was sybrina's baby, tracy's son, had been killed and you thought if this was my child i would sign this petition. so thank you for signing that petition. and to all(og those people. all of the young people, the people who marched, the people who stood up, who refused to look away. it is for those reasons, young people who were trayvon's age, the high school students that walked down and said we refuse to stand for this. it was the young people -- old people we sometimes get complacent and we see so many
things, but it's the young people who believed. they believed completely in justice, the concept, the idea, the dream of justice. i think those are the people who are sitting here today saying we can make a difference, and we just stand for right. if we just stand up, if we just stand our ground, we can make a difference. i have to say thank you as a florida citizen to our governor, rick scott, who came and met with the family that night and said that it is important that we get this right. he said that it's important we get it right. and he appointed special prosecutor angela corey who tole you how she prayed with the family and did not make any promises to us. no promises whatsoever, mr.
martin and mrs. fulton, mr. parks, attorney jackson, didn't make one promise to us. said we would look at all of the evidence. every piece of the evidence, and based on the evidence that she would make a decision. notç based on public pressure, not based on anything else, but the evidence. and we always believed from day one that if you look at evidence fairly and impartially, that you would have to come to the conclusion that he had to be arrested, and that this matter had to go before a judge and a jury. and that is all that traca and sybrina asked for. i go back to the call that has
been well documented now. when tracy martin called after that tuesday after, he was told there would not be an arrest. he was told that. so the reason we had to protest and file 911 lawsuits, and have all of the young people, and change.org was to get to this point. we had to do that to get to this point. and it is because of them that we can take a short breath, a short breath, because we're just now getting to first base. this is only first base. we're onç first base in this ge of justice.
we have to work every day to make it to second base. we have to deal with this stand your ground issue. >> right. >> and then once we pass that we have to get to third base, which is the trial. and then, after we get to that trial, make sure all of the evidence is delivered properly and fairly for both siding, everybody, and then we can bring it on home to justice. that's what we're here -- this is only first base. we must republican that. and lastly, i say this, that trayvon's legacy cannot be tarnished based on people doing sick things and acting ignorant and resulting to violence. we all have to believe in our hearts that we make the system better for what we do, and we
have to believe in our hearts that when we choose to do good, and we know somebody is thinking ill will, tell them in america, we believe everybody gets equal justice, a fair day in the courtroom. whether that be george zimmerman or anybody else. they get a fey date. we believe in our heart of hearts that he was wrong to kill trayvon martin, but that's what makes america great, because even he gets his day in court. and we're going to let the rule of law -- we're going to abide by it. if çtracy martin, sybrina fult can do it, anybody can do it because they lost the most of all of us here. so we have to follow their example. we have to follow their example and be peaceful, and everybody, no matter what you are, we have to all try to let the system play out and be patient and have
faith in god above all else. i have to tell you the stand your ground law, we will be addressing that. i do believe that you cannot be the aggressor and initiate a confrontati confrontation, and then claim stand your ground. we have to change that aspect of that law. we have to. and to all of the legislatures and stuff, when you are pondering these things, you think about trayvon martin and how this might never have happened had we not had those things in place. we never would have had to go 44 days to start simple justice. and i'm going to bring up sybrina and tracy. martin luther king said we prayed about it. it's been a long journey, but it
bends toward justice. >> that's right. >> first of all i want to say thank god.ç we simply wanted an arrest. nothing more nothing less, we just wanted an arrest, and we got it, and i say thank you, thank you lord, thank you jesus. secondly, i just want to speak from my heart to your heart because a heart has no color, it's not black, it's not white, it's red. and i want to say thank you from my heart to your heart. thank you. >> first of all, we just would like to thank everyone once again for being compassionate
about this as we were, as we are, as we will be. as attorney crump said, this is just the beginning. we have a long way to go, and we have faith. the first time we marched, i looked to the sky, and i just told myself when i walk,ly walk by faith. and we will continue to. we will continue to walk by faith. we will continue to hold hands on this journey, white, black, hispanic, latino, we will continue to walk, march, and march, and march until the right thing gets done. thank you. >> thank you very much. you know, there is nothingç mo precious than a life, and trayvon lost his life in this very unfortunate situation.
i have to tell you that when our clients learned from the special prosecutor her intentions, one of the most awesome feelings, especially as a lower, how you feel vindicated and that the process is working for them. it was powerful. powerful, to see and feel their expression, what they were feeling. and so to them, this is special. although it's public, it is as special as anything could be. to the father that tracy is, a glowing example of power and strength and you can't say enough about him. to joining what ben said about governor scott. in his own way, when he came to meet with this family that day in sanford, and looked them in
the eye, and as sincere as he could be with all the power he had as our governor, and he spoke and he used his power. it made all of us feel good as floridans that they would use that power. and equally so, the department of justice. when they came, and all that they had put into showing this family and this country that they will make it right. it's just about right, you know? the one thing that many americans have to understand -- i think most americans getç it. they may have other things that foreshadow them sometimes, is that it is totally wrong when an armed man kills an unarmed man. that's wrong. that's totally wrong. everybody gets that. sometimes that's hard for them to admit it, but they get it. lastly, i want to just thank angela corey and her team for what they did. she -- we appreciate her and her
team. and the other thing that was said, this movement has been about all people, so many people. so many people, so, so many people. so many people, so many courageous -- i have to say when i saw the mayor of san forrelease those tapes what he must have been going through. where ever he is, you know, it's hard when -- many people who made very courageous moves to make this right even after the wrong, they ought to be commended. but lastly to america. justice, we are lawyers, we believe in justice, right? at the end of the day, whoever sitting and hears this case, they'll get to the right decision no matter who they are, what they are, or what experience they have. so on behalf of the fame and our firm, parks and crump, this is just first base.
it's a long journey, but we'll be there at every base. >> let me say on behalf of the national action network that this moment coming at this week is a validation for the great struggle and vision of al sharpton in developing the national action network. this decision coming now is a motivating gift. it's a treasure. it resolves in us that we can never stop providing the tension that is necessary when injustice is perpetuated. the national action network is committed to being there for people who get left on the
margins of justice and we're committed to lifting up the cause of freedom. and we thank god today that we can stand with this -- with these parents, and while not celebrate, at least affirm that the wheels of justice are not locked and they move forward. >> amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, the road to freedom is never a walk in the park. we're just at the 50-yard line. for you to build a toyoi yoyotaa it takes five hours. we want to ride to justice and it won't happen overnight.ç we want to safeguard those watching around the world, while this is not a night of victory, this is a night of transition. years from this moment,
historians will have to write a new chapter that on this night, we were redefined. this was the beginning of a movement. that people across america found their confidence raised. that the justice system in america really does work. we're appreciative for the patients of people that signed the petition. millions of people that prayed, huhs and thousands of pastors that wore hoods. we ent to commend those that walked believing this would happen. we stand with the middle school teacher in michigan, brook harris, who lost her job for standing with us, and believing this was the right thing, and that young people had to be involved. let me give special credit to reverend al sharpton for bringing national attention to what could have been a local
issue. people ridicule him, but he has found the black voice. we appreciate reverend al sharpton. it's very critical as attorney crump said, the protesting is wonderful, signing the petitions is inspiring, but it is not enough. it is so critical that weç wou, in fact, engage the political process to it's fullest. every person must register to vote. we want 1 million new people to go to the polls on november 6th so that what happened in sanford, florida will not repeat. we have the very principal of standing your ground. today, we realize we must stand
our ground in the words of the late josia williams, unbought -- i want to remind them that this week is the 49th anniversary of dr. king's letter from a birmingham jail. if they want to the know why we're here, we're here because injustice is here and we will stay on the case until all of the trayvon martin's across america have their rightful place in the halls of justice. i want to affirm to every parent, to every child, your life matters. your life is valuable. your life is a commodity. you are not another statistic. but we will stop heaven and earth until justice rolls down like a mighty water. and i believe that millions are standing to pledge allegiance to america tonight.
in a you are in fact the hope and aspirations that our grandparents hope you are mature enough to be. so the question is, how long are we going to do this? we will march on until victory is won. let's stay inç the fight, stayn the race, and stay in the gap until we know justice has been won. thank you so much. >> we'll take a few questions from the media only. from the media. >> what message do you think the arrest sends to the sanford police department. before you met, and had the social media all over this case, as you stated the police chief said case closed. >> i think the message that is sends to everyone, not only to sanford police department, is that when there is an injustice, there are people that will rise up and seek redress, and that redress is all that we want.
and tonight, underscored that. >> how confident are you that you can get a fair trial in florida when it comes down to jury selection, and to have a jury that will be able to listen toe this case and the merits of them? >> well, attorney crump will also for himself, as far as for me, i must say that the prosecutor, mrs. corey has surprised the doubts i had, and i'm confident&yi that she will protect these constitutional victims and would go through the process in a fair way. because she has already proven that my innate apprehensions were unfounded. >> just briefly. i believeç sybrina fulton saidt
best. it's not about black or white, it's about our hearts. if that jury comes in with no prejudice thoughts or notions and listens to the evidence fairly, we believe it will be a very, very expeditious decision made for justice, we don't think this is a complicated matter. >> i would like to ask the parents if they feel satisfied with the charge as a second-degree murder? and if it's pleaded down, will you be disappointed? >> we just have faith and hope and ms. corey's office that they're professionals and they'll dot right thing. they took a look at the ef and they decided that was the charge. we're not the experts, they're the experts, so we're putting our faith in them. >> and if there is a plea down? if there is a plea for a lesser
charge. >> my attorney -- >> we'll deal with those matters when we get there, as sybrina said and mr. sharpton said, we believe ms. corey has done her job and will continue to do her job. we don't see why she should depart in the matter of trayvon martin. >> i would like to ask why you -- >> it feeling good to know that he is off the street. i feel very good because just to know that the circumstances0 >> last question.
>>. >> the attorney general said this morning that that investigation goes forward. he said it from this platform, and ms. corey said that one investigation has nothing to do with the other. federal law and state law is different though they share. i've been in cases where the state came first and the feds came after. so one has nothing to do with the other. you got a full store ru today. you heard from the head of the federal justice department and the state. you got two for just copping one time to the convention. >> very simply, very simply, very simply, we fully expect that both investigations are going to go forward, and we think both investigations will be fully vetted to get to all of the answer that's so many people have. thank you again on behave of
trayvon's mother and father and people loving justice everywhere. >> a remarkable press conference ened just then by benjamin crump within the lawyers of trayvon martin, and trayvon's mom said she thanked god. all she wanted was an arrest, she said thank you lord, thank you jesus. this is a matter of heart to heart,ç nothing to do with bla or white, hearts are red. trayvon's father said he wanted to thank everyone for their compassion. that it's a long way to go. we have faith, he said, but we walk by faith. a remarkable press conference that ends. al sharpton will have an exclusive interview with the parents of trayvon martin in a few minutes ago. i'm martin bashir, a live edition of "hardball" starts now. >> next stop, the