tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 11, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT
>> the jury could get the case as early as tomorrow but asle trial winds down, both sides are deciding what charges should be on the table. >> -- continually disagree with this court every time i make a ruling. i have provided you on three separate occasions with the court's professional conduct in the courtroom. >> good day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. we'll hear closing statements from the lead prosecutor after the judge makes a key ruling on lesser charges in the case. it will be a book end to a case that focuses on one key question -- was the shooting death of trayvon martin murder or self-defense. over the course of three weeks we have heard testimony from trayvon martin's own family members, as well as george zimmerman's family and neighbors, and forensic experts trying to piece together just what happened the night martin died. so let's bring in our legal
team, msnbc legal analyst lisa bloom, msnbc's craig melvin, live in sanford. "usa today" reporters amy asandor. lisa, set the stage for what we've heard so far as they were arguing their conflicting arguments before the judge as to what the lesser charge should be permitted. >> right. so it was all about what charges are going to go to the jury this morning. we've all wondered is it just going to be the murder charge that the prosecution filed over a year ago or nothing, or is there something in between? prosecutors wanted the charges in between and they got one of them. they got manslaughter. that will go to the jury and that's a lesser included offense to the murder charge. there's still one more remaining to be decided and that's third degree felony murder which involves an allegation of child abuse. there were fireworks in the courtroom this morning when the defense heard about that. they said child abuse, are you kidding me? we're hearing about that now for the first time at the 11th hour? we should have had more notice
that the prosecution wanted to argue that. and so there was some argument on it. the defense was given a little bit more time to do some research and when they returned to the courtroom, they're going to be taking up that issue. after that we expect closing arguments to begin initially by the prosecution. >> and lisa, as you were just pointing out, don west, the defense lawyer, was at leafeign surprise or legitimately surprised or angry. this is what he had to say when the child abuse argument was being made. >> oh, my god. just when i thought this case couldn't get any more bizarre, the state is seeking third degree murder based on child abuse? is the court going to give this any serious contention or consideration? because if so, we have a lot of talking to do. >> there has been so much back and forth between don west and judge nelson, what do you think, lisa, as far as the unusual nature of the tension that we've
seen, of course all out of the sight of the jury. >> you're so right, andrea. it's been an interesting subplot to this trial, the constant friction between the judge and the attorney. as a trial attorney myself, i can tell you i never want a judge admonishing me about the professional misconduct rules. don west, while clearly a zealous advocate for his client -- and i think an outstanding attorney overall -- has made some mistakes in this case. he's made that infamous knock-knock joke at the beginning of the trial that fell flat, and throughout the trial when he loses a ruling, he keeps arguing. that does violate the professional conduct rules. you have to take your lumps when the judge rules against you and go on and he continues to argue with her. at a couple points in the the trial outside the presence of the jury, she's even walked out on don west as he was continuing to argue. >> that was one of those moments, indeed. they're now arguing about the lesser charges. let's go back to the courtroom. >> -- third degree felony murder. and then we can just exicise ou
the charges. i understand your argument. >> i was only going to ask which part of shooting the child hadn't been established. >> well, i just don't think that the intentional part of it is there for the child abuse charge an it is not alleged in the information that way. i just don't think that the evidence supports that. if i'm not sure about that, i'm not going to charge the jury on it and i think that to exercise caution, i'm going to deny that being said before the jury. >> i understand.
i hope we have at least protected the record in that regard. >> thank you. so with that being done, are there any objections to the proposed final draft of the jury instructions? that would be changing the lesser included crimes to just allege manslaughter, taking out the charge on felony murder, the justifiable homicide after that, the possession of firearm and discharge causing death after that instruction, then there was a blank page. the next charge would be the manslaughter, justifiable use of deadly force, plea of not guilty, date of crime, venue, weighing the evidence, expert
witnesses, george zimmerman not testifying, george zimmerman's statements, rules for deliberation, notes, cautionary instruction, verdict, submitting the case to the jury. any objections other than what the state has already argued in any other objections from the state? >> other than what we said, no, your honor. >> and lisa bloom, as we watch this, it appears that the judge has ruled against the prosecution on third degree murder felony with with child abuse as the predicate. am i correct? >> that's right. i'd like to get final confirmation. sometimes judges issue a tentative ruling and they have a little bit of argument on both sides. but i agree, it certainly sounds as though that it her decision.
so this jury will have the choice between second degree murder which was alleged all along and manslaughter. >> let's go back to the court and hear if there is any clarification. >> -- mr. west's language exactly as he wanted it. i think i did but i'm not certain. >> are we looking at the first paragraph in the instruction for justifiable use of deadly force? >> correct. >> the state inserted the language "with which george zimmerman is charged." the way that i drafted it was, "it is a defense to the crime of second degree murder, and the lesser included offense of manslaughter if the death of trayvon martin resulted in the justifiable use of deadly force --" >> okay, i understand.
what if you put it as a defense to the crime of second degree murder and the lesser included offense of manslaughter with which george zimmerman -- well, let's put second degree -- leave it as it is, then after manslaughter, which is a lesser included offense -- >> just if we could, just strike -- >> because he's not charged with manslaughter. >> right. so if we simply struck the language "with which george zimmerman is charged," we've solved the problem. there doesn't seem to be any question that mr. zimmerman's charge was second degree murder in this case. >> that's fine? okay. >> that appears otherwise to be -- >> thaeg out the "third degree felony murder." the rest of it seems to be correct? >> yes, i think so. >> are there any other instructions being requested by the defense? >> pardon me? >> are there any other
instructions being requested by the defense? >> lisa bloom, as they go over the wording of the actual instructions to the jury, it does seem clear now that they have dropped the prosecution request for third degree murder. >> yes. yes, it does seem clear now. that's out. there's only two charges going to the jury, second degree murder or manslaughter. or, of course, acquittal is the third option. >> let's just clarify what is going to happen. because once they work this all out, the jury -- they may take a recess but the jury will be brought in, and then they will begin to hear the defense closing arguments. how long are they being permitted? three hours for that. >> right. so the attorneys were asked how long do you need for closing arguments, and they each said about three hours. i always say beware of attorney time estimates, just like we should be aware of attorneys who say "just one more question, your honor." but with that caveat, we expect
about three hours each. the prosecution gets to go first and last. they do their initial closing argument. then the difficult gives its closing argument, then the prosecution does a rebuttal. the prosecution gets that little bit of an advantage because they have the burden of proof in criminal cases. so my understanding is that the prosecution will do a two-hour closing argument today, give or take, reserving about one hour for its rebuttal. tomorrow beginning at 9:00 a.m. is the defense closing argument, followed by the prosecution rebuttal. the judge will then instruct the jury as to the law, and then they go off to deliberate their verdict. >> and she does seem to be very eager, especially with this sequestered jury, to keep things moving as quickly as possible. you've been in the courtroom so you have the advantage of actually watched this jury. how attentive have they been through this long trial? >> they've been very attentive. they have really leaned in at certain points a couple days ago -- or yesterday when the
attorneys were work rg with tin manikin and going through all the different ways trayvon martin could have been shot, they actually stood up to watch this. they've also taken taupous notes. they've really paid attention. there were certain parts where there was scientific testimony they sometimes wandered off with their eyes, but for the most part they are a very attentive jury and body language experts that i've talk to say that that means that they know what's going on in this case. >> i was curious about the fact that there are six women on this jury. how unusual is it that both sides would accept a jury that has only one gender? >> well, i think it is interesting. i'm a history professor, not lawyer but i think the calculation, if i may, here is that these are -- most of the jury, if not all of the jury, are women who have children so i think the estimation on the prosecution side is these will be women who can relate, particularly when we saw that really searing testimony from
sybrina fulton, she said my son trayvon benjamin martin is in heaven. think they are calculating this will be an advantage when people go into deliberation. they can conceive of trayvon martin as an innocent young person on a snack run that wound up turning fatal through no fault of his own. i think that's the argument they are going with here. >> thanks to you. the court is taking a brief break. as they take this break, the prosecution is preparing for those closing arguments. we will bring this all to you live. but first, msnbc's craig melvin takes a look back at some of the trial's biggest moments. >> please be seated. court is in session. >> reporter: for 22 days it was predictably unpredictable, including the prosecutor's blunt opening statements. >> good morning. [ bleep ] punks. these [ bleep ], they always get away. >> reporter: and a knock-knock joke that fell flat and for which the defense later
apologized. >> knock-knock. who's there? george zimmerman. george zimmerman, who? all right, good. you're on the jury. nothing? that's funny. >> and the parade of witnesses. >> of course you don't know if he was telling you the truth or not. >> why he need to lie about that, sir? >> rachel jeantel, the friend who was on the phone with trayvon martin moments before he was shot said he was trying to get away from a man who was following him. >> creepy ass cracker. i heard trayvon say get off a little bit. little bit -- as i was calling his name. >> then came neighbor john good, a prosecution witness whose story seemed to bolster zimmerman's defense. >> i could tell the person on the bottom had a lighter skinned color. >> reporter: the lead detective the night of the incident who initially recommended manslaughter charges against zimmerman testified about trying to catch zimmerman in a lie.
>> did you feel he had exaggerated the manner in had which he was hit? >> yes, sir. >> state would call sybrina fulton. >> reporter: the courtroom was riveted by the testimony of grieving parent sybrina fulton and tracy martin. >> my youngest son trayvon benjamin martin. he's in heaven. >> my world has just been turned upside down. >> reporter: later in the trial, the prosecutor used a manikin to demonstrate the state's theory of the case. >> were you aware the defendant described to his best friend that when he slid down, the defendant slid down, that trayvon martin was up around his armpits? were you aware of that? >> no, i've not heard that, no, sir. >> where would the gun be now? is. >> now the gun would be behind your left leg. >> okay. >> reporter: defense attorney mark o'mara used the same manikin to give jurors and alternate view.
>> could it have happened this way? >> yes. >> reporter: a key question for the jurors -- who was screaming on that 911 call moments before the fatal shot? witnesses on both sides said they could identify the voice. >> my son, george. >> i felt that inside of my heart, i said that is george. >> that's my son george. >> that's georgie. >> trayvon benjamin martin. >> my brother. >> my son. >> reporter: other questions the jury may end up debating -- who threw the first punch, how serious were zimmerman's injuries. >> even if you don't do enough to injure the brain significantly, you're going to have some stunning effect. >> he said that he felt light headed, had had a headache. >> he did complain of trauma to his head meaning he had had the lacerations. >> i apologize. other than that. >> and, again, the story that he told me of his head being struck against the ground. >> how would you characterize -- or classify the contusions, the severity of the contusions or abrasions to his face?
>> very small. >> reporter: and was martin punching or trying to get away when zimmerman fired the gun? >> we are confident that at the end of this trial, you will know in your head, in your heart, in your stomach, that george zimmerman did not shoot trayvon martin because he had to. he shot him for the worst of all reasons, because he wanted to. >> george zimmerman is not guilty of murder. he shot trayvon martin in self-defense after being viciously attacked. >> continue to stay with us right here on msnbc on "andrea mitchell reports" as we await the closing arguments in the george zimmerman trial. more live coverage right after this.secr served it up in the heart of peach country. it's a fresh-over. we want you to eat some peaches and tell us what you think. they're really juicy. it must have just come from the farm. this right here
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as we wait for closing arguments about to begin in the george zimmerman trial, let's catch up on some political headlines. joining me now, chris cillizza and luke russert. it's all about immigration today. luke, the action's been up there on the house side. we also had schumer and mccain. take a look at schumer and mccain both advocating immigration reform action on the senate bill as they came out of a white house meeting with with the president today. >> first, it seemed a large percentage of the house realized that doing nothing was not an option. speaker boehner and the republican leadership realized that doing nothing is not an option. we realized their views are not the same as ours but certainly the idea that they want to move forward on immigration reform is very, very encouraging. >> i was encouraged by the
results of the republican conference of the members of the house yesterday he. there is an acknowledgement no matter where we stand on the solution that this is a problem that demands addressing. we must address the issue of 11 million people who are living in the shadows in this country that is an unacceptable situation. >> so, luke, were they watching the same republican conference that we were watching? >> i have no idea what republican conference they were watching, andrea. they definitely took the glass half huff here full theory. the one thing repeated yesterday over and over again by more moderates and even conservatives, they would not move on anything that had had to deal with the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country until they felt there was adequate border security. they said the border security in the senate bill which republican
senator from tennessee bob corker said was probably overkill was not enough. so the question becomes what satisfies the house gop whether it comes to border security, and from all the policy discussions they've had, the only way they're going to move on that 11 million is if they feel the border is secure so that's the trigger. so there would be nothing unless there is the border security, they don't even know what that is. how do they move forward? there's been some talk what have eric cantore is pushing, andrea, perhaps we do something like the dream act where there's kids who are here by no fault of their own, perhaps put a pathway for them. but that would be directly tied to border security. john boehner today, i pressed him about this. said the rnc, chamber of commerce all coming out in favor of this, marco rubio, you guys are really hanging him out to dry. this is not going to hurt had the party for latino voters for generations? he said the only way to fix a broken system is to have this border security.
it will be any interesting to see how they would do any bill that could get democratic support. >> chris slis za, no politics are involved. >> i think there's nothing in this world you can say no politics is involved and i think that is in fact the case here, too. you know, luke hit on the problem, which is talk to anyone who has a horse in the race in 2016. talk to any national republican strategist who is sort of looking at the republican party at large and they will tell you we have to get immigration reform off the table. we have to figure out a way to yes on this. not because that's going to win us every hispanic vote but by not doing it we'll never have a chance of winning it. if you're a house republican the vast majority of those folks represent districts with a hispanic population is quite
small and some of the ones who represent districts with a hispanic population that's larger are worried that if they do allow a path to citizenship for these 11 million people, these people will vote democratic an they could lose so they have sort of no incentive in their own political calculation to find a solution on this. to be honest -- had this is the problem for the republican party -- there's no one big enough as a figure to say i don't care if you like it, we're going to do this. because it is good for the party. there is no figure like that and that's why you see what -- i am not as optimistic as john mccain and chuck schumer about the chances of an immigration bill passing. >> just look at what's happened to marco rubio for taking a stand in the senate. >> remarkable. >> he's really being punished for that within his own party. >> it's remarkable, andrea. marco rubio, the darling of the tea party who for all intents and purposes could be the presumptive gop nominee in 2016.
the house gop conference is hanging him out to dry. there were comparisons yesterday coming out of that room where members of the house gop conference said this bill reeks of obama care. it was done behind closed doors. that's a really hard thing for marco rubio to overcome in a gop primary. >> he's 1 of 13 senators that voted for it. that's not half but it is a significant number. >> chr . we are waiting closing arguments shortly in the george zimmerman trial. more live coverage right after this. saving and spending. all in one well-organized place. for seeing the small details and the big picture, so you can do more with your money. for finding out how pnc virtual wallet® can help you, go to pncvirtualwallet.com.
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moment in the courtroom with all of the victims crowding in and what was his affect? >> yes. it was only about eight minutes long. these hearings tend to be rather short. main point was for him to enter a plea and it was not guilty to all the counts. he had some injuries. he has an injury to his hand that was either in a cast or bandaged. he didn't really look at the crowd or acknowledge them. he acknowledged two people that were presumably his two sisters but otherwise he was pretty stoic during the hearing. >> there is now increasing speculation about the triple murder back in september of 2011 that perhaps tamerlan sarn yev may have been involved in what seemed a drug style shooting, three bodies line up sprinkled with marijuana. what's the investigation showing? >> there's been a suggestion, tamerlan, the brother of jthe
defendant according to law enforcement, just before he lunged at the fbi agent and was shot, officials say he had confessed to a role in those three slayings in waltham, massachusetts and it implicated the older tsarnaev as well. but whether anything will ever come of that. obviously they can't charge either of those two people because they're dead now. you can't bring a case against them. whether there is any surviving person who can also be charged remains to be seen, andrea. >> but of course, also the implication for those in the boston community is, if that investigation had not been dropped or had been done more aggressively, perhaps you tamerlan might have been arrested two years ago. you never know. and the boston marathon bombings might not have taken place. >> well, that's the suggestion that several people have made.
there is a long story about that today in the "new york times" in which some of those people have spoken out saying that he they think the authorities up there weren't thorough enough, but there are also people up there saying they thought the police did as good a job as they could under the circumstances. >> pete williams on all things, thank you very much. stay with us here on "andrea mitchell reports" as we await the closing arguments in the george zimmerman trial. more live coverage coming right after this. ♪ take me into your darkest hour ♪ ♪ and i'll never desert you ♪ ♪ i'll stand by you yeaaaah! yeah. so that's our loyalty program. you're automatically enrolled, and the longer you stay, the more rewards you get. great! oh! ♪ i'll stand by you
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bloom, msnbc's cranbc's craig m. lisa, we're now past all of the judge's rulings on the charges. we know the charges are going to be second degree murder and manslaughter include, the lesser charge. now it is up to bernie dila rionda to try to weave all of this together. >> that's right. in the courtroom are trayvon martin's parents. they've been there throughout this case. in addition, george zimmerman's wife is allowed in the courtroom now. she had been excluded previously as a witness. now that all the evidence is in, she is allowed to be there. benjamin crump, the family attorney for the martin family, is also now permitted to be present and he's in the courtroom as we await the closing argument from bernie did dila rionda for the prosecution. >> what's happening outside the courtroom? are more people showing up? is there more public interest
now in that community of sanford? >> no. in terms of folks being outside the courthouse, andrea, no. there are not a lot of folks at all. in fact, just a handful of protesters. when i say handful, two or three, at most, the same folks we've seen throughout the course of this trial. nonetheless, law enforcement in this area acting out of an abundance of caution, apparently say that they are going to be asking judge nelson to, if there is a verdict reached over the weekend, to hold that verdict until monday. at this point we do not know whether judge nelson has responded to that request, but we do know that law enforcement has issued that request. they've made that request. >> we don't know what kind of trial -- what kind of schedule, rather, this trial is going to take. we do know that obviously there will be the defense today, if they conclude today -- rather the prosecution today, the defense tomorrow, then rebuttal from the prosecution, then instructions which could take quite a while but it could very
well go to the jury by tomorrow night. >> that is true. i've asked the court officials whether or not they know if jury deliberations will go on on saturday and sunday. they haven't told me whether they will. experts i've talk to say they don't expect the deliberations to go very long but it is really up to the judge, from my understanding, of when the deliberations start and when we learn about the verdict once it is reached. >> we don't know until there is a verdict, but does this trial represent larger issues, big issues of national concern? there was so much talk about race before the charges, before the pressure of course that came from the community to charge george zimmerman but there has not been discussion of race at all in the testimony. >> yes. i think that's because the prosecution does not want race in this conversation, and wisely so. i think race functions like a boomerang in this situations. the person who throws it is the person who gets it thrown back at them in this way.
but i think in the bigger sense, i think what this case will force us to do is look at the role of these laws. is this just a tragic accident? is this a situation that could have been avoided perhaps if they'd never crossed paths? or are situations like this kind of the logical outcome of these increasingly proactive concepts of self-defense. if it is the latter, then we will see situations like this again and again and they will have to think about that no matter what the verdict is in this trial. >> lisa bloom, there's been a lot of criticism of the prosecution along the way, fair or unfair. what is the burden on the prosecution in these closing arguments? >> well, some of that criticism of the prosecution has come from me. i think that they have missed some opportunities in this trial. in closing argument, they need to show the jury how all of the evidence comes together. it's difficult for attorneys during a trial because you put on a witness, the witness testifies on a lot of different topics.
as an attorney you don't get to stand up and say, see? that answer right there is really important! hold on to that! or i'm putting this witness on for this reason. so the jurors kind vf to figure it out as the weeks pass during this trial. this is the chance in closing argument to bring it all together. i just saw the attorneys in the courtroom looking together at the laptop of the prosecutor bernie dila rionda. attorneys can tob each other during closing arguments, they're not supposed to do it too much but if one misstates the evidence or deviates from the evidence, but you can make fair comment about the evidence, how it fits into the legal theories and what interpretations you and the jury should draw from the evidence.
sometimes attorneys cite bible versus or historic documents or tell colorful stories. that's all per misted during closing arguments. bernie dila rionda has some dramatic flair. >> how much will the tension we see from don west, the defense, and the judge play a role in deciding how far to let the defense go in terms of interrupting. >> great question. if the history of this trial is any guide, the judge is going to keep very tight rein on him. we are allowed to object, we trial lawyers. you can stand up, state your objection. objection, hearsay, in just a word or two. that's it. no speaking objections. that's something the judge has said throughout the trial, meaning you can't go on and on and explain why something is objectionable. just state the legal ground. judge will then rule. then you are supposed to sit down. if there is more to it than that, you ask for a sidebar.
this judge has not been particularly inclined to grant side bars. sometimes she does but generally the judge will allow both sides a lot of leeway to present the closing argument in the way that they see fit. this is the chance for the attorneys to shine. >> as the jury now comes in and is going to -- they are going to hear from the judge introducing the prosecution and we will have uninterrupted coverage these closing arguments. >> i will ask you my questions. if your answer is yes to any of my questions, please raise your hand. during the overnight recess, did any of have you any discussions amongst yourselves or with anybody else about the case? no hands are being raised. do any of you read or listen to any e-mails, text messages, twitters, tweets, social met working pages or blogs about the case? no hands are being raised. did any of you use any type of device to get on the internet to do independent research about the case, people, places, things or terminology? no hands are being raised.
and finally, did any of you read or create or -- i already asked you that one. never mind. it's been a long morning. okay. mr. de la rionda, the state rests? >> yes, your honor. >> ladies and gentlemen, both the state and defendant have rested their cases. attorneys will now present their final arguments. please remember that what the attorneys say is not evidence or your instruction on the law. however, do listen closely to their arguments. they are intended to aid you in understanding the case. each side will have equal time. but the state is entitled to divide this time between an opening argument and a rebuttal argument after the defense has spoken. just so we know, mr. de la rionda will let us know when would and good breaking time for a recess during his argument so we will take a brief recess in the middle. you'll just let us know when. you may proceed. >> may it please the court.
counsel. good afternoon. a teenager is dead. he is dead through no fault of his own. he is dead because another man-made assumptions. that man assumed certain things. he's dead not just because the man-made those assumptions, because he acted upon those assumptions, and unfortunately -- unfortunately -- because his assumptions were wrong, trayvon benjamin martin no longer walks on this earth.
the defendant in this case, george zimmerman, acted upon those assumptions. and because of that, a young man, a 17-year-old man, a barely 17-year-old man -- i think he was three weeks past his birthday -- is dead. unfortunately, this is one of the last photos that will ever be taken of trayvon martin. and that is true because of the actions of one individual. the man before you, the defendant, george zimmerman.
a man, who after shooting trayvon martin, claims to not have realized that he was dead and what did he do. do you recall what the testimony was about what he did after? did he render or attempt to render the same aid that those heroic officers from the sanford police department did? who didn't wear the masks that they normally would wear but gave mouth to mouse, perform cpr, in an attempt to bring life back in to that young boy? do he do that?
recall, also, what happened when mr. manalo came out and also what happened when the officer came out and after they handcuffed him and recall what he told mr. manalo, please call my wife. apparently he was taking too long or something, and he said just tell her i killed him. just kind of matter of fact. those acts -- those actions speak volumes of what occurred that evening, sunday evening, and they speak volumes of this defendant's actions. sunday, february 27th -- sorry. february 26, 2012, at 7:09 p.m.,
at the retreat at twin lakes town homes. now you're obviously aware that the shooting actually happened minutes later. in fact, i think because of the recording that was made we were actually able to precisely determine when that fatal shot occurred and it occurred at 7 6 7:16:55. but i would submit that the events leading up to this murder actually occurred not just earlier that sunday evening, but months before and why do i say that even though trayvon martin wasn't there months before. why do i stha the events leading up to this occurred months before?
you recall the testimony of several people, but most importantly the evidence you heard from this defendant's mouth when he was being interviewed by investigator singleton. when she first said something to the effect of, well, tell me what happened out there. i wasn't out there. haven't gone to the scene. and what did he first say? >> this is the correct phone? >> yes, ma'am. >> you live at 1950 tree view circle. i'm just going to keep quiet and you tell me the story. you tell me what happened tonight. okay? >> just tonight. >> or whatever led up to this. anything you want o tell me about what happened and why it ended up what it ended up to, to
where this boy got shot. >> the neighborhood has had a lot of crimes. my wife saw our neighbors get broken into an she got scared. >> are you talking about the residence or vehicles. >> residence. while it was occupied. so i decided to start a neighbor watch program in my neighborhood. >> what is the name of the neighborhood? >> retreat at twin lakes. >> now, those actions weren't anything sinister or terrible or evil or of ill will. those were actions that occur throughout the united states in many cities, unfortunately, where crimes occur in the neighborhood and people get together and form neighborhood watches or other associations to deal with it. there's nothing sinister or
wrong with that. but in this particular case, it led to the death of an innocent 17-year-old because this defendant made the wrong assumption. he profiled him as a criminal, he assumed certain things. that trayvon martin was up to no good. and that is what led to his death. trayvon martin, he was staying, he was there legally, he hadn't broken in or sneaked in or trespassed. he was there legally. he went to the 7-eleven store
earlier that evening. he bought what? what did he buy? what was his crime? he bought skittles and some kind of iced tea or whatever it's called. that was his crime. he had $40.15 in his pockets. he was wearing a photo button and he was speaking to a girl in miami. he was minding his own business. but apparently, this defendant decided that he was up to no good. that the victim was up to no good.
what had trayvon martin planned for that evening? to watch a basketball game. with his younger -- i guess you'd call him stepbrother or friend. the son of his father's fiancee. that's where he was headed back home. you know this wasn't at 2:00 in the morning or partying somewhere, not that would in any way minimize it. but he wasn't -- he was just doing a normal everyday thing. he went to the store, got something, got some skittles and some tea or drink and was just walking back. it was raining, he was wearing a hoodie, last i heard that's not against the law. but in this man's eyes, he was up to no good.
he presumed something that was not true. now, what's ironic about this, neighborhood watch and you heard from officers, et cetera, again, that's a respected thing that we encourage citizens to do. but in this particular case, he didn't even bother to find out if he thought he was up to no good. he called the police, the nonemergency number but then followed him, tracked him because in his mind in the defendant's mind, this was a criminal. and he was tired of criminals committing crimes out there. again, that's not a bad thing. it's good that citizens get involved. but he went over the line. he assumed things that weren't true. and instead of waiting for the police, instead of waiting for the police to come and do their job, he did not.
because he, the defendant, wanted to make sure that trayvon martin didn't get out of the neighborhood. you might recall the prior testimony about the prior incidents, what happened? they would commit some kind of crime apparently. and they would all flee by the time -- i think there was one guy that was caught. but the rest of them would flee. and this defendant was sick and tired of it. so that night he decided he want -- he was going to be what he wanted to be, a police officer. now, police officers are trained. recall one of the questions that was asked of investigator sereno by the defense, if you were driving by and somebody was in the front yard and looking through a window, wouldn't you stop in your car and kind of investigate that? my recollection is that his comment was, his answer was, i would think maybe he lives there. but in this defendant's mind, he
automatically assumed that trayvon martin was a criminal. that is why we're here. defense was going to argue to you that this was self-defense. and they're going to say what happened at the time of the shooting, and i'm going to talk about that obviously. you can't just take that in a vacuum. it's not like this defendant was just walking home and some guy came out of nowhere and started beating him up. i mean, when you think of it, when you really honestly think about it, who was more scared? the guy, the kid that was minding his own business and going home that was being followed by another guy in a truck in an suv and that kept following him. recall what he told rachel jeantel, this guy following him. and she said something to the effect of, well, maybe he's like
a sex pervert or something. and that's when he referred to he's a cracker or whatever word he has used and he used the "n" word too. but when you think of it, that is the person that was scared, i would submit. now, trayvon martin, unfortunately, can't come into this courtroom and tell you how he was feeling. and that's true because of the actions of one man. the defendant. let's talk about the defendant that night. no dispute that he was part -- i would submit he was the neighborhood watch. but, again, that's perfectly good. that's a good thing. but he was upset that burglars got away. that's also a good thing. that's good that people get involved. and apparently according to his statement he was driving the
target. now, he's driving the target, it's raining and what does he do? okay. he calls the police something suspicious, but then he tracks this guy down. he tracks trayvon martin. he didn't just call the police and say, okay, stay in your car. he keeps following him and goes even further. he gets out of the car. so he sees the victim, he's suspicious of the victim and then calls 911 nonemergency. now, all those actions, no crime's been committed there. there's no crime right there. but it's important to realize this is what led to trayvon martin being dead. the defendant 28 years old 5'7" 204 pounds and armed. now, let me stop here, he had
the right to bear arms. we live in this great country and the second amendment allows people to carry a firearm. and he had a permit. he had the right to have a concealed permit, to have a concealed firearm. so, again, he's not violating any law. the victim in this case 17 years old, 5'11" 158 pounds. and he was unarmed. well, i guess if you would consider skittles or the tea -- not trying to make light of it, but the defense is saying, oh, it's concrete, you know, and we'll talk about the concrete. but what started this? assumptions. incorrect assumptions on the part of one individual. and, again, that's the last photograph we have of trayvon
martin. this innocent, 17-year-old kid was profiled as a criminal. to quote the defendant and pardon my language, it was one of those assholes that get away. ill will or hatred. i would submit that he uttered it under his breath. and that itself indicates ill will or hatred. he was speaking to the 911 or nonemergency person.
but what he was doing was verbalizing what he was thinking. and that's why that's important. because in his mind, he already assumed certain things. that trayvon martin wasn't going to get away this time. the prior calls brought in five, i think defense another one six within the last five or six mont months, he was sick and tired of it. but the law doesn't say, okay, take the law in your own hands. okay, i'm sorry, i've got the wrong guy. i'm so sorry, i thought he was a criminal. mr. martin, tracy martin, i'm so sorry, i made a mistake, i didn't realize that
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