tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 12, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
>> i know. 9:00 to 11:00, we're doing a special. >> paul henderson, tad nelson, karen desoto. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening, from new york. i'm chris hayes. it was 16 1/2 months ago, february 26th, 2012, the altercation between trayvon mention min martin and george michael zimmerman took place in sanford, florida. tonight the fate of george zimmerman rests in the hands of a jury of six. there's other news tonight including an actual appearance of edward snowden in moscow. we'll show you later. we begin, of course, in florida, where 5 1/2 hours ago after 12 days of testimony, the jury was handed the case of the state of florida versus george zimmerman. the man that's charged with second-degree murder in the killing of trayvon martin. mr. zimmerman has pleaded not guilty. claiming self-defense. the jury has ended its
deliberations for the day and will resume at 9:00 a.m. eastern time tomorrow. they've already asked the judge a question, in the short time since their deliberations began. they requested a list of all the evidence they were presented with and the judge arranged to have that list delivered. today we saw the dramatic conclusion of the case as the defense attorney mark o'mara presented his closing argument and prosecutor john guy gave the state's rebuttal. >> so this is what happens in a criminal case. the state has to take you from somewhere down here before there's any evidence, and he sort of presumed to be not guilty, all the way up the list in your mind. the person who decided that this is going to continue, that it was going to become a violent event was the guy who didn't go home when he had the chance to. it was the guy who decided to lie in wait, i guess, plan his move. does it really help you decide this case when somebody who is not george zimmerman's voice screams at the you or yells at you and curses at you?
no. i would contend, listen to the tape, don't listen to mr. guy. i think mr. guy is trying to sound like him with his really -- fing punks. you know, do we need that? and then it was said how many times was it said that trayvon martin wasn't armed? now, i'll be held in contempt if i drop this, so i'm not going to do some drama and drop it on the floor and watch it roll around. but that's cement. that is sidewalk. and that is not an unarmed teenager with nothing but skittles trying to get home. let's just talk about self-defense. do we think he might have acted in self-defense?
not convinced. i have some doubt. have some concern that he just may have acted in self-defense, and if you reach that conclusion, you get to stop. you really do. why? because self-defense is a defense to everything. >> and the defense attorney can make the finding of the way i say it. but it's not my voice that matters. it's yours. was he just casually referring to a perfect stranger by saying fing punks? he put on a timeline that was ten feet long, and the only thing he skipped was those two words at the bottom of the screen. the only thing. the common sense that tells you it's the person talking like the defendant who had hate in his heart. not the boy walking home talking to the girl in miami.
that defendant gets to his gun, the only way trayvon martin was getting off of him, or he had backed up so far on his legs that he couldn't hit him. couldn't touch him. the defendant didn't shoot trayvon martin because he had to. he shot him because he wanted to. listen to when the screaming stops. at the instant of the gunshot. silence. nothing. he was a son. he was a brother. he was a friend. and the last thing he did on this earth was try to get home. >> judge debora nelson read the jury lengthy instructions before the deliberations began including the ultimate choice they must make on the fate of george zimmerman, guilty of
second drew degree murder, guilty of manslaughter, or not guilty. joining me, james peterson, msnbc contributor, director of africana studies at lehigh university. and sema, a criminal defense attorney. i thought the defense closing was strongest when it was talking about reasonable doubt. and i think actually reasonable doubt is just an incredibly important concept in american jurisprudence, and in the context of the closing, it really, they did a very good job of emphasizing what the constitutional bar is that you have to get over, and it's for a good reason. it's a pretty high bar. and i thought just hammering on what reasonable doubt meant, what it meant in this case was incredibly effective. >> what was most effective, what mr. o'mara did and what he's supposed to do is read the facts and the law and repeatedly, repeatedly implore to the jury, you have to find reasonable doubt. there is reasonable doubt.
the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt. hit home with the jury, we have 1, we have 10, we have 20 and he named dozens. >> there was a thermometer illustration. >> i loved that. very compelling. >> i thought in terms of the visuals that had been used at the trial, was one of the most effective. here's a little bit just of o'mara going through this reasonable doubt argument. >> so this is happens in a criminal case. the state has to take you from somewhere down here before there's any evidence, and he's sort of presumed to be not guilty, all the way up the list in your mind so you have no doubt for a tactical reason or no reasonable doubt to the essential elements of the crime and that george zimmerman is guilty of second-degree murder. >> you know, what's critically important here is in the self-defense context, if -- this is in the jury instructions that judge nelson gave to the jury. if the jurors have a reasonable doubt that george zimmerman may
have felt it was necessary to act in self-defense, george zimmerman goes free. that's a powerful example of how important that is. >> this is really important to me, because it seems the standard keeps floating back and forth in my head. it is a reasonable doubt that george zimmerman may have had a reason to fear for his life or bodily injury? or a reasonable person -- because this seems important to me, because if it's just the george zimmerman standard, it seems like we have a completely subjective justice system in which any maniac with any notion in their head about what is dangerous to them can possibly get away with shooting someone. >> well, that is what we have. i mean -- >> no, that cannot be what we have. >> listen, dependent upon who's defending, who the lawyers are, when i see all the charts and all the sort of demonstrations of the defense today, i'm wondering, what is their budget for that stuff, what are their resources? what's being brought to bear on this particular case versus the other side. at the end of the day, subjectivity is quite important here. >> explain the testimony. >> let me explain. it's a great question because
people are constantly confused. is there an objective standard, is there a subjective standard? there are both. it is what would a reasonable person feel, do, in george zimmerman's shoes? the reasonable person standard is your objective. george zimmerman's shoes is your subjective. right? and the jurors are now, or tomorrow morning, again, going to put themselves in george zimmerman's shoes, assume them feeling like reasonable people, we have every reason to think they are, and they're going to try to make that analysis. i just want to say when it comes to, you know, the defense's budget, versus the prosecution's budget, i see this a different way. and it's really sort of the evidence the prosecution was able to amass versus their ability to appeal to a motion. and i think what we saw a lot of today, that's another interesting point, prosecution understandably trying to appeal to the emotions of the jury against a really pretty well-amassed pool of evidence. you saw that, i think, in o'm a o'mara's closing today, methodically goes through
witnesses. >> what i tried to do today, to put myself, everyone who was watching this put yourself in the jury's shoes about this. what i kept come away with, found myself, as a person watching the trial, nothing more than that, i'm not a lawyer, basically saying there's a lot of discrepancies, i don't trust a lot of what george zimmerman said. the character of trayvon martin seems impossibly cartoonish, you're going to die m-fer, and all this. at the same time, well, do i think, where am i on that? i'm 80%/20%? at what point did i cross a level where i don't feel like i trust him enough, i crossed the valley of reasonable doubt, i can send this person to prison? >> since you're watching this, my first question to you is, at that point do you want an explanation for the inconsistencies? what you're saying to me is you're going back to george zimmerman's lies and his inconsistencies. so chris hayes, on the jury, do you want someone to explain that to you? o'mara did not. he did so many things. he didn't explain the inconsistencies.
>> he said one thing that really stuck with me in the lengthy summation, and take it or leave it. he said, anyone who tells the same story the same way twice is a pathological liar. i thought, you know what, you might like that, you might not. there's a succinct summation. he did something similar are trayvon martin's girlfriend, or friend who was on the phone. he said, you know, if you ask me four weeks after a conversation with my wife what we talked about, it's entirely possible i won't remember at all. you see the parallel tracks. >> well, you know where i am on the case. >> right. >> it doesn't read that well to me because too when of the lies are too strategically in george zimmerman's favor. at the end of the day the idea he's not calculative. it's hard to see what the jury is thinking about. i feel like on the outside of these trials we have a very sort of surgical sort of assessment what's going on. it seems to me that the prosecution, particularly attorney guy there at the end,
that appeal to emotions and the pathos is very, very important. the history of sanford, those folk are from there. they understand the elephant in the room. >> which was spoken about today. there was this strange innovation at one point. i thought the weirdest moment was mark o'mara, you know, part of the defense's argument, right, of course, is that if george zimmerman could cross the reasonable standard threshold, right, reasonably fear for his life, this person had to be reasonably threatening and reasonable fear-inducing, right? what they have to do is create a trayvon martin who is that way. and this is when him looking at these horrific autopsy photos, which we have not shown, or tried not to show, he says when this is mark o'mara telling the jury when you look at those autopsy photos, they're not telling the whole truth about the size of trayvon martin. take a listen. >> the other thing about the autopsy photographs is that
there's no muscle tone because there's no nerves, there's no movement. he lost half his blood. we know that. so on that picture that we have of him on the medical examiner's table, yeah, he does look emacia emaciated, but here's him three months before that night. so it's in evidence. take a look at it. because this is the person, and this is the person who george zimmerman encountered that night. >> i thought that was ghoulish and ghastly and if i were sitting in the jury box would have been offended by -- >> highly unpleasant, but, highly unpleasant but i presume the effort here was to say even the most damning piece of evidence, jurors, the one that's going to really make you think something was wrong and we ought to find, can be attacked in a
way that might create reasonable doubt. >> i would like to think the jurors sat and looked at this photo, this is the photo i remember. what i'm about to say does not impute the will of the defense. they are constitutionally required to do. that photo that he's showing, i saw on the white supremacist site, stormfront. >> that's right. >> in the wake of the news of it. >> used to demonize trayvon martin. >> oh, you think this is some innocent kid, check out what this kid really looks like. when i saw that held up, i had this strong, horrible reaction against it. i want to talk about the slab, and the rebuttal and where that sort of leaves this case. right after we take this break. giving me a sales pitch, especially when it comes to my investments. you want a broker you can trust. a lot of guys at the other firms seemed more focused on selling than their clients. that's why i stopped working at my old brokerage
after being blocked last time they tried to pass the same bill in the senate, the republicans made sure this time around they're not going to let pesky lady protesters get in the way of the important job of shutting down abortion clinics. >> lieutenant governor david dewhurst says the senate is determined to fend off a filibuster and gallery outbursts which prevented the abortion bill from becoming law. there you see it. dewhurst says there will be extra police at the capitol today, and anyone who breaks the rules will be thrown in jail. >> apparently that crackdown involved the confiscation of tampons. yes, you heard me right. tampons. this photo of tampon confiscation was posted to twitter as people were filing into the senate chamber to watch today's proceedings. we reached out to the texas department of public safety and asked if they were confiscating feminine hygiene products and if so why. we received this press release in response indicating they had information that people planned to "use a variety of items or props to disrupt the senate
proceedings. as they searched for the notorious props, they say they found, "one job suspected to contain urine and 18 jars suspected to contain feces." "all of these items as well as significant quantities of feminine hygiene products, glitter and confetti were discarded otherwise they were denied entry into the gallery." it there you have it. check your suspected jars of feces and tampons at the door, ladies. the texas senate has some work to do. [ mom ] with my little girl, every food is finger food.
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violate rules we all share. at this time, if all of you will please take wyour notes with yo and follow deputy jarvis back into the jury room. >> those are the last words judge debora nelson spoke to the jury before handing the case of the state of florida versus george zimmerman. lisa green, msnbc contributor. james peterson, and attorney seema iyer. can we show the video of the moment where the defense attorney mark o'mara takes a slab of concrete, which, again, this always struck me as the most kind of ten densios and implausible part of the case, trayvon martin wasn't unarmed. >> was weaponized. >> because there was concrete. and the fact they seem to, like, want to double down on it in this kind of preposterous manner. again, this always seems -- i don't know. what am i missing here? this always seems to me like a ridiculous argument. >> right. i think what you're saying is that sometimes we feel awkward seeing attorneys running around
doing little skits. and it makes jurors uncomfortable. and if you don't sell it, if it doesn't work, then it falls flat. >> but it also goes to this point of, like, you can put on this defense without demonizing trayvon martin. >> exactly. >> maybe that's -- maybe if you do put on that defense without demonizing trayvon martin, without blowing him up in this brutal figure that uses the can concrete to bash his head, you have a -- every time that would come up in the defense, i'd get angry. >> the self-defense defense works at its best the more threatening trayvon martin seemed. we talked about the key 40 seconds. if you're the defense counsel, you need to make it clear to jurorses that zimmerman reasonably needed to do what he did. the best way to do that is really -- >> you're exactly right, but the problem with doing that in this case is that it requires to sort of finger the festering sore of racial profiling and racial injustice in this country. so at the end of the day what's
happening is they're conceding and endorsing racial profiling. right. because they were african-american males who committed crimes previously -- >> the defense quite explicitly did this, introduced someone who said, broken into. it was a young black man. they were not implying this, they were explicitly saying this was a totally logical -- >> in this criminal justice system, in this society with these kind of vigilante killings, unfortunately, are not uncommon, at the end of the day that's not a reasonable thing to deduce from the fact that someone previously in the community that was racially identifiable with the victim here allows you to be this racial profiler. i hope the jury doesn't buy that. >> well, here's the situation i think that people aren't really talking about and that is this case is about race. it is about culture. it is about politics. these jurors aren't just deciding state versus zimmerman. these jurors are deciding what happens in our country going
forward. and i think we're being foolish and, frankly, naive to think that there may not be riots, and if there are, there's an acquittal, there sohould be. why are you shaking your head? >> i don't think there will be riots and i don't want to call to them. >> i'm also not calling for peace, either, right? because at the end of the day, i want people to feel what they feel about this particular case and maybe action is the way you respond. maybe it's about getting out and effecting some of the poll sa y saysisaysys that shape this case. feeds into this idea of is somehow the black community is waiting on the sidelines menacing -- >> there's plenty of indian people and asian people in that community holding hands and ready to go if this guy is acquitted. and this is also the issue is not whether zimmerman did this. the issue is did the people prove it? did the state prove it? >> right. >> you know -- >> because he did do it. he murdered trayvon martin.
>> no, he killed trayvon martin. >> yes. >> whether he murdered him is up to the jury to decide from a legal perspective. >> justification. i want to take, move this conversation and shrink it a little bit back to those jurors in that jury room. that's where before we speculate about anything else, the very next thing that will happen is they'll come back at some point and tell us. >> i want to come back to this at the end of program. how people are looking toward this verdict. what the bated breath feels like. legal analyst lisa green. msnbc contributor james peterson. attorney seema iyer. thank you so much. >> thanks, chris. >> there will be continuing live coverage of the zim eman trial on msnbc. where in the world is nsa leaker edward snowden? we have an answer tonight. stay with us. that do ride the bus. and now that the busses are running on natural gas, they don't throw out as much pollution to the earth. so i feel good. i feel like i'm doing my part to help out the environment.
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today edward snowden, the elusive nsa leaker who we have not seen since he reportedly landed at a moscow airport three weeks ago has resurfaced. this time we have pictures to prove it. this morning an absolutely crazy scene unfolded in moscow's airport where reporters who have been camped out in the airport for almost a month without ever seeing snowden got word he would finally be speaking to a group of human rights activists. reporters mobbed the attendees as they were leaving the meeting hoping for any bits of news. it was reportedly a tense scene where at least one fistfight erupted between two cameramen who punched each other in the ribs. snowden spoke to the group for 45 minutes opening with the description of the life he left behind captured by the russian
news outlet, "life news." >> a little over one month ago, i had a family, a home in paradise and lived in great comfort. i also had the capability without any warrant of law to search for, seize, and read your communications. anyone's communications at any time. that is the power to change people. >> according to a transcript released by wikileaks, snowden said his goal is to get to latin america, and requesting asylum in russia until my legal travel is permitted. russia hasn't confirmed they received the asylum request but snowden should refrain from action inflicting damage on our american partners if he wants asylum. if tensions before today are high between the u.s. and russia, they're now next level bad. >> i would simply say providing a propaganda platform for mr. snowden runs counter to the russian government's previous declarations of russia's neutrality. i think we would urge the russian government to afford
human rights organizations the ability to do their work in russia throughout russia. not just at the moscow transit lounge. >> within the last few hours, obama and putin actually spoke by phone about edward snowden. we don't know what was said on that call and don't know what will happen to edward snowden. today we do know edward snowden is in russia working with some capacity with the approval, at least, of the russian government. the white house is not at all happy about it. joining me on the phone from rio de janeiro, glenn greenwald for "the guardian" newspaper and broke the edward snowden story in "the guardian." my first question to you is, why do you think after this holding pattern, long weeks where we didn't see edward snowden, why did today happen? >> the reason is because his ability to get to the countries where he's seeking asylum, and hopes to receive asylum, has been thwarted by the willingness of the united states government physically to block him from being able to get there. they revoked his passport which prevents him from traveling.
they've signaled to the world that they will physically impede an airplane which they did with the jet carrying the bolivian president that they thought had edward snowden on it. they put pressure on all the countries that could be possible refueling stops in order for him to get there. that's why the aclu and embassy are both warning what the obama administration is doing is threatening this very well-recognized right of asylum. there's simply no way for him to get out at the moment. that's why he sought the help of these human rights organizations. >> so one concern i think a lot of people watching this have, and i will actually count myself among them as someone who is happy to know the things i know because of edward snowden, happy to have information, think that information is crucial. we'll talk about the microsoft story in a second. in that he has now been -- it's unclear to me with how much autonomy this man could actually be acting. we know the nature of vladimir putin, we know the nature of the russian state at this moment. in fact, any state, if the russian version of edward snowden showed up at the miami international airport, the cia would be there the next day. so it doesn't seem ridiculous to
me to assume at this point that those 10,000 files that he has with him, that he brought to you to screen with rigor and clarity, are now in the hands conceivably of russian intelligence. that doesn't seem like the best way for this to have gone. >> i think what you just described is exactly what you called it, an assumptiassumptio. i'd add it's a speculative assumption. that runs counter to the evidence we know. remember, this is a person who threw away his entire life, as he said in the beginning of that statement that you just played. he had a girlfriend, a longtime girlfriend. a family who loves him. i get e-mails from them all the time asking me to passion on best wishes and love to him. he had a very stable career. a lucrative job. he threw it away because he wanted not to destroy the united states or harm the united states, which he could have easily have done by selling the information, but to provoke a debate. he was willing to sacrifice all of this interests including his freedom in order to have that. so the idea that he would then suddenly start turning over secrets to russia, or china,
which he could have done early on and gotten a lot of money for it, is very impossible to me especially since i've been in contact with him over the past week and he's very clear about the fact that he's free to leave russia at any time. the only barrier in his way is the united states. >> and you think that's true, you do not think that he -- i mean, has he talked to you -- i mean, i'm not saying this about the nature of edward snowden i'm talking about the nature of the russian state and vladimir putin who doesn't necessarily play paddycake when this is on the table. he's not had interactions with russian intelligence. >> i think there's a lot of different factors at play besides the fact the russian government would like to get their hands on this information. it's the same thing with china. "the new york times" basically made up the claim which they phrased in terms of this might have happened, that the chinese government drained his laptop. something he insists didn't happen. in all the things i saw when i was in hong kong with him, simply didn't happen. there's a lot of different considerations the chinese had including wanting him gone so it
didn't confiscate -- >> it's possible russia would like to see him gone as well. quickly, there's a scoop you had yesterday about the nsa and microsoft working together. what do you think the significance -- i read it and it seemed to me the most charitable interpretation possible is they are creating the technical capability to be able to in the future execute lawful kind of searches for items they want. what
do you think is worrisome about that scoop? >> the silicon valley companies have continuously said they only do the bare minimum the law requires to work with the nsa. this shows constant collaboration and collusion on the part of microsoft to build systems to allow all sorts of access to skype, outlook, these cloud systems way beyond what the law requires. the idea that they need a warrant in each individual case is untrue. they only need a warrant when they're targeting american citizens. not when they're -- >> right. >> -- scooping up communications including ones involving americans. >> glenn greenwald "the guardian." appreciate it. >> thanks, chris.
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you haven't heard of 27-year-old ryan coogler, expect to be hear about him soon. wrote and directed a film about the life and shooting death of an unarmed black man of a young man in oakland, california. opening in cities tonight to enthusiastic academy award speculation and, of course, a plot line eerily similar today as we wait the verdict of the shooting tet of trayvon martin. first i want to share the three awesomest things on the internet today. one institution's attempt at getting hip with the kids. unfortunately, the term yolo is a thing. it's an acronym turned hash tag originally coined by the rapper drake and stands for you only live once. yolo. what's so bad about that? plenty. urban dictionary uncharitably explains it, yolo is basically, "carpe diem for the stupid people." as long as you yell yolo while doing it, it's all good. the admissions office at tuft
university caught wind of the hole hey yolo thing. respective students are asked to choose from several essay questions including the following which reads, "have you ever seized the day? live like there's no tomorrow, or perhaps you plan to shout yolo while jumping into something in the future. what does #yolo mean to you?" i can just imagine some of the incoming essays. sorry about my s.a.t. scores, but you know, yolo. m.i.t. is asking students to contemplate the meaning of dirp. second awesomest thing, the dunk of the year. a video of high school senior christian terrell, a 6'2" shooting guard in jacksonville, florida. seriously, watch this. i have no joke about this. in fact, there's not much more to say other than christian says he'll go to florida gulf coast university in the fall. i've watched this clip no less
than 27 times. if this isn't awesome, i do not know what is. the third awesomest thing on the internet today, sharknado, of course. it was the movie on the sci-fi channel last night. two-hours of bad acting and special effects or simple terms, tara reid, steve sanders from 90210 and flying sharks. as this graph shows, it broke the internet captivating twitter followers across the country. this tweet from patton oswalt, "sharknado is our arab spring." this one, steve sanders getting swallowed by a flying shark and chainsawing his way out of it. guess we should have issued a spoiler alert. one blog listed 28 possible sharknado sequels. here's a few favorites. crustaceans get swept up in a dust storm or haboob. it's craboob. or alpacalpse. the most horrifying of all, shih
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>> scared of what? >> i hear guns outside. >> you know what, baby? those are just fire crackers. you're safe inside with your cousins. >> what about you, daddy? >> me? baby, i'm going to be fine. >> that was a clip from the new movie opening in major cities today. the film won the audience and grand jury prizes at sundance this year and getting oscar buzz, chronicles the final day of the real life of oscar grant. who was shot in the back by the 27-year-old johannes meserley a white bay area officer. at time of the killing grant was unarmed lying facedown on a subway platform in oakland, california. captured on cell phone footage by several witnesses, the
shooting happened in the wee hours of the morning on new area's die in 2009. grant was detained on the platform when meserle fired a single round into his back. he testified the shooting was an accident caused when he mistakenly grabbed his firearm instead of an electric taser. because of pretrial publicity, the trial was held in los angeles. prosecutors at the time had not won a murder conviction in a police shooting case since 1983. meserle was convicted of invor tear manslaughter. he served half of a two-year sentence. the family of oscar grant, the movie is painful and surreal. oscar grant's uncle said the movie brings back everything that happened that night. it's like watching him get murdered again. >> you, off the train. >> i ain't doing -- all right. all right. i hear you. you arresting us? we ain't -- you going to hold us? >> saying this whole time, but she don't want to listen with
her cute -- >> shut up. >> where are your friends at, huh? >> we ain't got in friends. >> ain't got no friends. >> don't know what friends you're talking about right now. >> on the platform, i need a backup. >> chill. chill. chill. >> get down. sit down. >> and joining me now is the 27-year-old writer and director of "fruitvail station." thanks for being here. >> nice to be here with you. thanks for having any. >> why did you want to make this movie about oscar grant? why did you decide to make it as a fictionalized feature film rather than a documentary? >> my biggest motivation to make the film was the actual incident, myself. i was in the bay area when it happened. it touched a lot of people. people responded in lots of digit ways. when you see someone have their life taken on camera like that,
it will trigger something deep in you. oscar was the same age as me. i happen to be african-american myself. his friends look like my friends. seeing that tape, i couldn't help but to imagine myself in that situation, and watching the fallout that happened afterwards where his character got pushed forward in different positions depending on people's political agendas. i really thought it was a great tragedy that nobody was looking at it as a huge issue and the young man didn't get to make it home to the people who loved him the most. the biggest reason i wanted to make it as a fiction film is two reasons. my documentaries take a long time to make, and i thought this film was something that was very immediate that could benefit from being on sooner. another reason is i wanted to bring people to a close proximity with the character like oscar. unfortunately, if a documentary, oscar isn't around anymore. >> he has to be absent from the film. >> yeah, if it was a doc. he's not alive. he's not here. >> what you've done in the film is create a really incredibly compelling human character. the last basically 24 hours of his life, right? >> right. >> and there's been tremendous
amount of praise. there's a rave review in "the new york times" about how human he seems. there's been criticism because we see oscar grant falling back into dealing drugs, being deceitful with his girlfriend and mom. how it you navigate portraying someone who isn't here anymore, making them as human as possible. >> i think if you talk to anybody, you know what i mean, you'll find many many the relationships closest to him. for oscar, relationship with three women in his wife, with his mom, girlfriend and his daughter. oscar was dealing with a lot. dealing with a lot of internal struggles. dealing with a lot of issues in his life. if we ignored those things, it would have been a tragic thing. those things he was dealing with affected the people he loved. every single human being has pluses and minus. we all have struggles we deal with. humanity exists in a gray area. it doesn't exist in black and white. too often people like oscar are only shown in the media in one way. >> do you feel that that's the case -- obviously this is now happening with this tragic coincidence of this film that's coming out as we await the
trial, the verdict in the trial of george zimmerman accused of killing, murdering trayvon martin. >> right. >> do you feel that we lose sight of the humanity of the person at the center of it as these stories become stories? >> absolutely. i mean, i think it's no question. you know, it's really unfortunate because when we made this film, you know, when i first started writing the script, trayvon hadn't been killed yet. you know, it kind of speaks to the fact these things are ongoing. not just these types of crimes but also black on black crime. young african-american males lose their life at an alarming rate. you know, all the time throughout this country. it seems like people don't really see us as human beings. oftentimes even ourselves. you know? i think that's a great tragedy, you know? >> what do you want people to walk out of the movie theater thinking? what do you want them to have floating through them after that they saw the film, they didn't have when they walked in there? >> to me the film was about humanity, love, about relationships. i hope that people can watch the film and see a little bit of
themselves, you know, in oscar's character regardless of where the audience comes from. whether they're white, black, hispanic, asian, american. you know, watch the film, see a little bit of their struggles in oscar's struggles. everybody knows what it's like to be young and figure things out, what it's like to have a mom and somebody they love. hopefully people can see that, you know, in oscar and maybe have a little bit of empathy and maybe relate a little bit moving forward. >> 27 you're 27 years old, right? >> yes. >> this is a first-time film. this movie is getting incredible feedback. how does it feel to be in the middle of this tornado? >> i think it's a little bit overwhelming. it wasn't something i ever saw. i'm surprised to be standing here with you and to have the film, you know, receive what it's received at all. for us making the film was all about getting the story out there and making something based on a real event. you have to make decisions about how you want people to receive it. you know, i think for us it was
about humanity and any time the film gets played and anyone watches, it's a huge achooechee for all of us. >> write and director of "fruitvail station" which opens today. there are some people that felt justice was not served in the oscar grant case and in these tense hours as we wait for the jury to return in the trayvon martin case, many people are anticipating another verdict that doesn't satisfy their thirst for justice. when we come back, we'll discuss the possible ramifications of that verdict whenever it does come down. es that say? (guy) dive shop. (girl) diving lessons. (guy) we should totally do that. (girl ) yeah, right. (guy) i wannna catch a falcon! (girl) we should do that. (guy) i caught a falcon. (guy) you could eat a bug. let's do that. (guy) you know you're eating a bug. (girl) because of the legs. (guy vo) we got a subaru to take us new places. (girl) yeah, it's a hot spring. (guy) we should do that. (guy vo) it did. (man) how's that feel? (guy) fine. (girl) we shouldn't have done that. (guy) no. (announcer) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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read what he writes because he's a phenomenal writer. so reliving through the oscar grant case is pretty heady as we sit here right now with six jurors, in florida, deciding the fate of this case. and there's been a lot of the subtext, i think, as we look toward this case, what will happen if there's a not guilty? i mean, that's the elephant in the room, right? in fact, on fox, it's not the elephant in the room, it's the elephant that they're talking about. here's bill o'reilly basically sounding the alarm, warning of the unrest that will result from a not guilty verdict. take a listen. >> if the prosecution did present a weak case, and that, again, is the consensus of the media following it, even the liberal media, and he does get acquitted, mary, are you expecting people to run out and cause trouble? we agree there's a possibility for damage to be done to the fabric of the nation if fis verdi this verdict comes in as an acquittal. >> what do you think when you
hear that? >> i think we're afraid of black people. that's the bottom line. certainly it's a rational question in the sense that after oscar grant there were riots. after rodney king, the acquittal of the officers of rodney king, there were riots. that doesn't mean we always riot. >> after oscar grant, there was massive anger. >> yeah. >> a huge, peaceful mobilization in the city of oakland. a huge, peaceful mobilization, people marching. there were riots as that demonstration essentially broke up, 80 people, i believe, arrested. these were not mass riots. the vast majority of people who came out to express their displeasure after oscar grant were, indeed, peaceful. >> remember reeka boyd shot by an off duty police officer two months after trayvon martin. she was an innocent bystander. he was shooting at someone who was going for a cell phone. so it's a very similar kind of, you know, someone who is not violent, hadn't done anything wrong. there were no riots after she was killed. so it's not simply that every single time, there are actually social conditions that produce
violence and it's complicated. >> yeah. i think, i've been saying this all along. i think that people riot when they expect justice and don't get it. i don't think black people expect justice in this case. >> that's an incredibly intense statement. >> that's the same scenario, different day. looking back to oscar grant, you know, not to take the focus off of that, but that happened the same month that president obama was inaugurated. it wasn't the only time. there were two other african-american men, there were three, that same month, unarmed who were shot by law enforcement. one in dallas, one in new orleans and of course in the bay area with oscar grant. even during the campaign, the question came up of the sean bell verdict, of -- >> here in new york city. >> shot in new york city. this is not big kind of thing. an overwhelming majority of these instances people have not rioted. i think people may be depleted. i don't think they expect things to turn out differently. >> a lot of times when we see
riots, we've seen a couple different things, black people have been humiliated in a variety of ways over a long period of time, either bybrutall coupled with high unemployment rates. it becomes the tinder, the spark that hits the very dry tinder and turns into a bondfire. >> the other thing i keep waiting about a we await the verdict, this is a really important point, when we talk about the fate of black men in the criminal justice system, what their lives mean to the criminal justice system when they're the victims of violence. what their lives mean when they're accused of being the perpetrators. we have a tendency because trials are fascinating, gripping things, we cover them a lot, understandably, because day are dramatic. 98% of what happens in this country's criminal justice system is people are cranked through this machine in which there's no verdict, there's no big deliberation and long jury selection. it's plea, plea, plea, plea, plea. go down to 26 in california and chicago as i have and go to the courthouse there in the nightshift and watch the arrestees brought in and they're
booked, boo ked, booked. people are pleaed, pleaed, pleaed. that's the other side of it. the other side of it is a lot of young black and brown men being run through the system. >> it's also we forget, we're talking about oscar grant, trayvon martin. these are black men who were feared even though they hadn't done anything, in the instance in which they were killed. our fear of them is also because we're constantly churning nonviolent offenders. >> through that machine. >> these aren't people who are going around and hurting people. in fact, five times as many whites use drugs than are arrested compared to blacks. >> right. >> for drug use. >> i think the other thing, too, this is about resources. people who are kind of in this mill being, you know, pled out and sent to sentences and so on. these are people who don't have resources. >> right. >> there's a reason why george zimmerman has the resources he does. people have been -- >> because of -- >> they've given him hundreds of thousands of dollars. >> more than the trayvon martin
family's foundation. >> maya wiley and jelani cobb. msnbc's coverage of the george zimmerman trial continues next. the jury in the george zimmerman trial began deliberations tonight after a day of closing arguments. i'm lisa bloom. >> i'm craig melvin live in sanford, florida. tonight, the final arguments by the prosecution and the defense. and what the jury must decide. >> assumptions presume a lack of evidence. if you have to presume something, you don't know it. >> a final plea to the jury. >> the defense in the george zimmerman trial just finished their closing statements. >> george zimmerman is not guilty. if you have just a reasonable doubt. >> mark o'mara was very strong in closing argument about reasonable doubt. >> do you have a doubt? beyond a reasonable doubt. just a reasonable doubt. beyond a reasonable doubt. >> attorney mark o'maraas