tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN April 12, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT
tonight george zimmerman in custody. >> we simply wanted an arrest. we wanted nothing more, nothing less. we just wanted an arrest, and we got it. and i say thank you. thank you, lord. thank you, jesus. >> we will march and march and march until the right thing is done. >> charged with second-degree murder in the death of trayvon martin. >> today we filed an information charging george zimmerman with murder in the second degree. >> his brother, robert, speaks to me exclusively tonight about the sensational development. i have also ask top lawyers how this case is likely to unfold. >> it is about justice, justice, justice and only justice. >> plus what is the shooter's state of mind? this is "piers morgan tonight." good evening. breaking news in the trayvon martin case and dramatic news it is too. george zimmerman back in florida, arriving at the seminole county criminal justice center under cover of darkness
moments ago. this is his booking photo just released. zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder 45 days after the shooting death of trayvon martin. tonight i'll talk exclusively to george zimmerman's brother, robert. but listen to what special prosecutor angela corey said about why it took so long to make an arrest. >> there is a reason cases are tried in a 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. detail by detail, bit of evidence by bit of evidence. and it's only then when the trier of fact, whether it's a judge or a jury, gets all of those details that then the laws apply to that and a decision can be rendered. >> that's our big story here. now to explain today's developments, dan abrams and attorney gloria allred. let me start with you, dan. dramatic day, dramatic development. put it into context.
clearly this is not necessarily going to lead to what some may feel is an automatic trial. he goes to a judge first in florida who could just throw the whole thing out? >> that's right. the defense can ask for a hearing now to basically test out his defense, his stand your ground defense. and a judge could at that point believe that he's proved by a preponderance of the evidence that it's a valid defense and could literally throw out the case. that's not going to happen in this particular case. but what's interesting is the prosecutor's decision not to go for manslaughter but to go for the most significant charge she could find without a grand jury, which is second-degree murder. and that means this could not have been an accident and, therefore, trayvon martin was killed. no. when you're talking about second-degree murder, it can't be an accident. you're talking about a level of intent, depraved mind, an action which is imminently dangerous. these are important legal phrases, but the end result is he's facing now up to life instead of just 15 years. >> gloria allred, should we
assume from this fairly dramatic action by the state attorney that they have got evidence that we are not aware of? >> well, they definitely have evidence that we are not aware of and they're not revealing that evidence, piers. and it would be inappropriate for them to do so. it's clear that miss corey has said they're there to protect their case and protecting their case means they're not going to reveal what they found in their investigation and their re-investigation, which they have done. >> i don't know that they have that much -- they'd have to have that much we don't know about. they certainly have more than the initial police department had. >> let's just spell out here, because this is the criteria to prove beyond a reasonable doubt second-degree murder. one, trayvon martin is dead. we know that is a fact. two, zimmerman's criminal act caused trayvon martin's death. he shot him and that is not disputed. was it a criminal act, that is disputed. three, there was an unlawful killing of trayvon by an act
imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind without regard for human life. now, that seems from all we know a fairly strict criteria actually to be met by the prosecutor. yet but the fact they have driven this case as you say for the tougher second-degree murder rather than manslaughter, they must be confident of a successful prosecution. >> that's right. you can also consider there can be lesser included offenses once the case goes to the jury, so that's still a possibility. the only evidence that i think that they really may have we don't know about is forensic-type evidence, which is important. but i think that in this case the most important witnesses are going to be eyewitnesses who are the notoriously -- the witnesses who are notoriously problematic, eyewitnesses. nevertheless, i think that's what case is going to be b the audio tapes. who heard what. how does that fit in with the timeline, et cetera. and that's all stuff that's now pretty much available not just to the prosecutors but to the public.
>> gloria, if you were prosecuting this case, where would you think the weaknesses are in george zimmerman's case from everything you've seen and heard? >> well, i would be thinking about where the flaws are and i would be interested in also what he allegedly has told family members who have appeared on television. whether there are inconsistencies in what he has told the police, depending on what he has told the police, and i would be interested in all of that. i would be interested in the forensics. of course i'll be interested to see what the defense is going to be. is it going to be that it was justifiable homicide? is it going to be that trayvon martin was attempting to kill him or commit some kind of felony against him? and i would have to consider what the defense would be. >> dan, clearly -- >> surely it will be self defense. >> i would imagine, dan, he's going to try and defend himself
under the grounds of stand your ground. particularly in florida, it's in 20 odd states, but in florida it's pretty wide, the parameters for that defense. i would imagine, i'm a layman, not a lawyer, but that it gives him the best chance of getting off, the stand your ground defense. >> absolutely. he'd have to demonstrate that he reasonably believed that he was in imminent danger. the problem for him is going to be you can't use that if you've losing a fight. that's not the time stand your ground will apply. >> particularly if you started the fight. >> that's the crucial fight. >> and that's why the missing few minutes we know nothing about become utterly crucial. >> and he doesn't even need to have started a fight. the question becomes what happened after he followed him. if zimmerman confronted trayvon martin and said, hey, just as the woman who trayvon martin was on the phone with says happened and zimmerman was the one that confronted trayvon martin, that's going to be a real tough defense. it's going to be a really, really hard -- >> effectively he will have
started an aggressive move. how significant -- let me go to gloria on this. how significant do you think if it comes to a trial, and it's likely to, will be the fact that george zimmerman makes the 911 call and is told are you following, he says yes. we don't need you to do that. okay. and then he clearly continues to follow trayvon martin. >> well, i think that's going to be important. there may also be an argument by the defense that he didn't continue to follow him, that he was retreating, that trayvon martin then followed him. i don't know because we'll have to wait to see what the facts are. but i think the defense will try to diffuse that "i was following him" type of argument. >> thank you both for now. let me go now to eric deckers. he's a tv and media critic for the "tampa bay times." eric, how would you describe the mood down there following this announcement today? >> i would say among officials down here it's probably a little bit of relief.
this is the eventuality that a lot of protesters wanted. they wanted to see zimmerman arrested. they wanted to see him charged to the fullest extent possible and that's happened. an there's been a lot of kind words between the martin's family and the prosecutor, who's working this case. so i think there's a sense that everybody kind of wants things to calm down a little bit here. and there is a sense as well with a lot of protesters that causing any kind of violence would be contrary to the health of the case, that it would hurt the martin family's case and might make the prosecution more difficult. so i think there is a sense that everybody wants things to simmer down a little bit. >> and how helpful to that process has been the dignified way that trayvon martin's parents have conducted themselves? i think it's been quite remarkable they have managed to avoid any inflammatory language, they have tried to calm things down wherever they needed to and repeatedly stressed all that
they wanted, and they said this again today, was an arrest. they wanted the process of justice to take place. without an arrest, that could never happen. how important has their demeanor, their behavior been? >> oh, i think that's very important. and you saw when the new black panther party issued a bounty for george zimmerman's apprehension, the attorney for the family stepped out and said we don't want that and resisted that. i think they have been very smart in how they have handled the public face of the family. they have done key interviews well. they started speaking up early. as al sharpton said today, it's that kind of public face that actually seemed to pressure prosecutors into moving forward with this arrest and prosecution in the first place. >> eric, dan and gloria, thank you all very much indeed. coming up, robert zimmerman speaks out to me exclusively to me. robert zimmerman, after the break.
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he's been charged, he's been arrested, he's a criminal defendant now. we'll let the process work. do not -- let's not prejudge anyone any longer. let's just let the process work. >> that was george zimmerman's new attorney a little while ago. zimmerman is in custody tonight charged with second-degree murder in the death of unarmed teenager trayvon martin. tonight the shooter's brother is speaking out. joining me now exclusively is
robert zimmerman jr. robert, thank you for coming back on the show. we spoke, obviously, a couple of weeks ago. dramatic developments today. what is your reaction and the family's reaction to the arrest and the charging of your brothers are george? >> piers, obviously as a family, we're devastated. i will say we are a strong family and we have been living a somewhat altered reality for quite some time. we have had to prepare ourselves for an outcome such as this, a possibility such as this. it is one of the outcomes or possibilities at this stage in our system. but we are devastated. i'm not the only family member speaking out because george doesn't have hundreds of family members who would love to speak out. i'm just the only one who right now can. for my family's safety, that being the first and foremost consideration in all of this, for my safety, you know, for
joining you via satellite and not disclosing where i am, having lived like that, there were no winners in this already. the only silver lining in all of this is that my brother is safe. for our family, that's the only respite we'll get tonight when we lay our heads down to sleep is we'll know that our brother is safe. >> we have a picture on screen, as you were speaking there, robert, of your brother tonight. his official police mug shot. clearly i would imagine this is the worst case scenario for you, because they have thrown the book at him. he could have been freed, no charges, no action taken. it could have been a manslaughter charge. but, no, they have gone for second-degree murder which has a potential sentence of life imprisonment. how do you feel about the fact it's been such a tough charge? >> well, i agree. they have thrown the book at him. miss corey's office has. we're disappointed, as you would
expect any family to be disappointed. however, as i've said, we have -- we realized early on in this process that there were groups, organizations, individuals who were not satisfied with any part of the answers that were given by pertinent parties in the investigation at the time, such as the police. they didn't like that answer. he had to go. the police chief, i'm referring to, chief lee. they didn't like the answer of the florida department of law enforcement. they didn't like the first prosecutor. they were starting to not -- apparently the congresswoman from mr. martin's district was voicing concern about this prosecutor. we are a family who respects the system. we understand there are many -- many rungs in the wheel of justice and this is one of the characters, the players, the prosecutor. the prosecutor has thrown the book. sometimes prosecutors do that because they're hoping in some
semblance of justice or some appearance of justice that someone will plead down or somebody will take some deal. it's a shot in the dark. tactic, prosecutors have many tactics. i would have hoped the more courageous tactic, which would have been simply to say we're not prosecuting and here's why would have been consistent with what everyone else has said up until this point. it was not the outcome. this is an unfortunate outcome but we're a strong family. we are prepared for it and we're prepared for the rest of our american justice system to have its say in what ultimately should work out in the end to exonerate my brother. >> when did you last speak with george? when did you last see him? >> right. piers, for security reasons, i can narrow that window down to about ten days would be the last that i would be willing to say that i spent one or more days with him.
so we were actually together. i can't say where or what we discussed about. we were together, did things that brothers do, enjoyed spending time as a family. george was not himself at the time. obviously he's under a tremendous amount of pressure, but he has a strong family that supports him and has been in hiding. it was good to be with him. but as i made clear from the first interview, before any of these marches, before any of these rallies, before the congressional black caucus weighed in, before the naacp jumped in, george was not right from this, from the moment he communicated that to our family before my first appearance on this broadcast with you. he was not right from the incident. there was no winner in this. us as a family viewed it as our brother could have been dead. our brother literally had to save his life by taking a life, an that's no situation that anybody wants to ever be in ever.
>> what would you describe george's state of mind? you said clearly he's been suffering, that's to be expected. you spent time with him, you spent more than a day with him. and although some people have tried to question your closeness to your brother, your only brother, you've told me before this interview that you spent considerable amounts of time with him through january and february due to family health issues involving your grandmother and your father. >> correct. >> tell me about your relationship with george. tell me about how he has changed as a brother since you saw him in january, february, post this incident. >> you know, without getting into too many health details about other members of our family, our father and grandmother had health emergencies. my brother really stepped up to the plate. we were in the hospital every day with one or both of them caring for them, spending time together as brothers, as a
family, as we knew our duty is as the two brothers of the family, to step up to protect our parents. and that's what we consider our grandmother, one of our parents. we have two parents, but we were raised by our -- helped out by our maternal grandmother at home. she stayed at home and she raised us. and we are a strong family. we came together when we needed to. george and i are very close, we love each other very much. he knows that. i'm very proud of him for handling, you know, despite what his attorneys came out and camera and said yesterday or anybody questioning his mental state, there are things obviously at every point of this we don't know. he may have actually already been in contact with the prosecutor's office simply more than -- you know, for one reason or another, maybe to turn himself in. we don't know a lot of things, but i'm proud that he did the right thing, which is what his original attorney had said he would do.
george will turn himself in. there will be no manhunt, no spectacle or show. he is now a participant in this system. >> let me ask you -- let me ask you, robert, about the attorney situation because the two attorneys that he had, who i interviewed in an interview on this show, i think showed themselves in pretty grim colors yesterday with this absurd press conference and continued behaving like a bunch of blues brothers celebrities overall of this over what in my view is a very serious situation. how do you and the family feel about their behavior? are you confident now that george has appropriate representation? are you concerned about that? >> our concerns go in the order first and foremost obviously of safety for his life, then his well being, then it's our life and our well being. now we are -- from what i have seen of george's representation so far, i am -- i can speak for myself.
i'm fairly confident that he is being competently represented. this attorney has a very well-established reputation in that area. our concern has always been in that order. always first for his safety. we are relieved that he is safe. it's the most bittersweet news to hear in your life, that your brother is being charged with a murder and to see him being taken into jail on live tv. and to somehow have to think, well, at least there's something good in all of that is he can't be attacked this way or most likely can't be hurt, killed, injured in a way that he has been on the run and underground in the streets for quite some time. >> let's take a short break here, robert. when we come back, i want to get back to the night of the shooting. i want to go over again with you in detail exactly what happened.
he's running. >> he's running? which way is he running? >> down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood. >> okay. which entrance is that that he's heading towards? >> the back entrance. >> are you following him? >> yeah. >> okay. we don't need you to do that. >> that's the 911 call from the night of the shooting of trayvon martin. george zimmerman's brother, robert, is back with me exclusively. robert, i'll be straight from you here. the reaction on twitter already is blowing up tonight to this interview and they're saying
pretty much the same thing. you know, yeah, they're glad for you and your family that george is safe. what about trayvon martin? he's dead? you know, why did your brother take out a gun and shoot an unarmed teenager? >> right. i understand. i understand that reaction. sadly and unfortunately, trayvon martin is dead. he died. that has been from the moment that that happened, that incident that night has been weighing on my brother in a way i couldn't possibly describe or put into words, you know, accurately here on this interview. it would have to be his words one day that would shed light on exactly how he felt when that happened. trayvon died. what i would say to those people is to respect the system. there is a system.
it appears my brother has competent legal representation. and there is only one truth. the system does not manufacture truth, it discovers the truth. that's the objective of it. >> but, robert, isn't the situation very different now from the last time we spoke? last time we spoke, your brother had been investigated on the night and the police were satisfied he had acted in self defense under the stand your ground rule in florida and allowed him to go home. now he's facing a second-degree murder charge. that means the state attorney in florida believes that he murdered trayvon martin. this wasn't self defense, it was murder. now, that changes things very dramatically, doesn't it? and that is why there is so much anger out there towards your brother. do you understand that? >> i do understand that. and like i said, we're very disappointed in those charges and everyone in the system has different tactics that they are
availed to that are at their disposal for different reasons they do things and charge things different ways. and i can't get into miss corey's mind and explain why she did what she did. i know that there is one truth. i know that my brother, just like me, we speak only the truth. he told his family only the truth. that truth will come to light. there is, obviously, some need in our society or we have allowed ourselves to become so blood-thirsty that we need to have our blood. >> robert, here's the problem. the blood that has been shown here so far is the blood of trayvon martin. >> right, right. >> this is the reason that people feel so angry. >> right. >> the reason they feel anger and i have shared their anger on this show very openly about the fact that your brother wasn't
even arrested on the night. it just seems such a crazy anomaly in modern america that a young, black teenager walking from a store back to his father's girlfriend's house isn't able to get back because your brother intervenes, defies a 911 operator's instructions not to follow, continues anyway. an altercation, we don't know the exact circumstances of how this began commences. as a result, trayvon martin is dead. >> well, i do take exception with "follows." that is, again, without commenting on specifics about the case, because it's inappropriate to do so, it's inappropriate for anybody, including myself who wasn't there, to say this is exactly what happened, george followed or did not follow. what i'm saying as his brother is george speaks the truth to his family. george has told his family the truth. george has told every one of his lawyers that have taken him on the truth.
george has told everyone the truth that he could speak to at the time. there was a time before all of twitter followers or people marching, this was just something that had happened to two families, to the martin family and to the zimmerman family. >> let me ask you, robert, why was george carrying a gun to target? >> thousands of floridians have enacted laws that they are able to carry guns. in fact i believe they are only able to carry guns if they're concealed. >> so he's carrying a gun but at some stage of what happens when he is told -- when he calls 911. he is a neighborhood watch captain. at that moment he goes into neighborhood watch mode. now, he knows -- >> that's not -- that's not the truth at that moment he goes into neighborhood watch mode. >> that is the truth. >> no, that's not. because if you go home and see something suspicious and call, you're a citizen. >> but i'm not a neighborhood watch captain.
>> right, and he was not on any neighborhood watch patrol or acting in any capacity of neighborhood watch. >> i would argue and many would argue the moment he made that call, as he had done repeatedly in previous years, acting as a neighborhood watch captain, when he made that call, he was specifically told you don't have to do that, sir, and he said -- >> right. >> okay. now, you say he wasn't following trayvon martin. >> right. >> what was he doing? what was he doing after that? >> again, that's an element of the case that will come out -- >> what did he tell -- you said that he told you the truth. >> yes. >> what did he tell you that explains why he continued walking towards trayvon martin? >> well, he didn't continue -- he didn't continue to walk towards trayvon martin. i said on my first interview, you know, the truth is the truth. there only is one truth. he lost sight of mr. martin. he lost sight of him so he did not ever follow, confront or catch up to trayvon ever, it never happened that way. he lost sight of him. he went to the last address that
he saw for mr. martin where mr. martin could have turned down the street and, for example, gone in his home or he could have turned down the street and said, hey, dad, i think this guy is following me, if that's the case, if that's what was in his mind. mr. martin chose to do none of those things. my previous interview stands for my act and my family's account of what exactly happened. >> but in that previous interview, robert, when it got to the altercation and i accept there are missing minutes here and we don't know the full truth, there are two aspects to the interview we conducted before i wanted to run past you again. >> okay. >> one is the description that you gave of the beating that you say george was receiving from trayvon. you said he was out of breath. he was barely conscious. the last thing he remembers doing was moving his head from the concrete to the grass. if he was banged one more time, he wouldn't be, you know, wearing diapers for the rest of his life and being spoon-fed by his brother. it would have been george dead
had he not acted decisively. >> exactly. >> clearly if that is true, then that would -- and he had done nothing to provoke this, that would be a legitimate defense on stand your ground. but how do you explain that your brother is one bang away during this terrible beating from wearing diapers and being fed by you for the rest of his life and the fact that within a matter of just a couple of hours, we see him walking around the police station perfectly okay? >> i'm glad you brought that up, piers. first of all, like i said in our first interview, neither one of us are doctors to make that presumption, say x, y, z is perfectly okay. second of all, my brother has, as anyone who is familiar with carrying concealed weapons, when you carry a concealed weapon, there is a different burden that you have because you have a weapon that cannot just kill you but can kill other people. for example, if someone takes
your gun in a shopping mall and just starts shooting people. now your weapon -- you've lost control of your weapon and it is being used to kill people or hurt people. there's a different burden when you get into an altercation with someone. >> but again, robert, i come back to the fact when we see these images, i'm watching them now. this is your brother within 90 minutes or two hours of this terrible beating where he's one blow away from death and he's showing absolutely -- the problem is what you're saying and what the construct of the story that's being put forward is there's very little relation to what we've seen on the video of your brother within two hours. >> i'm happy actually to explain that. there is a disconnect because people, like i said, they want to see blood and they wanted to see blood. the reality is george nor any other neighborhood watch person goes out and becomes a neighborhood watch person because they are going to be in the following order. surprise attacked, punched so hard in the nose their nose is broken, sat on their chest using
their last available breaths to call and scream for help. this is a series of not just physical but psychological injuries that are happening to someone. with a person who's 6'3" sitting on their chest using their entire body weight to cover the mouth and nose, the broken nose, of the person screaming out for their life. now you're out of breath and you're losing consciousness. now, what puts you in fear of your life is when you carry a gun and someone threatens to disarm you as you're becoming unconscious, you don't know if that person is really going to kill you or not. but if you are wrong with it, you are dead. and you don't have a second chance to second guess that decision when you're losing consciousness, because someone is crushing your nose into your skull that's broken. >> let's take another break. we'll come back and debate this further. obviously i repeat the only person who is dead is trayvon martin. i'm going to come back and analyze the 911 calls because the cries for help, many experts now, independent experts say did not come from your brother.
you need police, fire or medical? >> um, maybe both. i'm not sure. there's just someone screaming outside. >> so you think he's yelling help? >> yes. >> all right. >> there's gunshots. >> you just heard gunshots? >> yes. >> how many? >> just one. >> a chilling 911 call from the night of the shooting. back now, robert zimmerman, jr. george zimmerman's brother. when we talked last time, you said you had no doubt and your father also said this that the cries for help that we heard on
one of the other audiotapes definitely came from george. since i spoke with you last, independent analysis has almost conclusively based on studying your brother's voice it could not have been george crying for when. how do you react to that? >> well, you know, first and foremost the most important reaction to understand that independent analysis like that is not admissible. i don't know. and like i said, i can't comment about the investigation or specifics in the investigation as they stand now, because there has been an arrest. however, to say i know there have been a lot of sophisticated tools as anyone would imagine when the fbi is involved in an investigation to determine -- i mean the fbi is good at what they do, to determine whose voice and unequivocally and without any doubt. that is my brother. he is on the floor. his mouth is being held shut by
his assailant who is causing him to lose consciousness and he's using his remaining breaths to scream and call out for help. >> again, you know, you talk in a very dramatic way about remaining breaths, as if your brother is literally on the verge of dying. but so many people are tweeting me saying keep pushing on this. if his brother was being beaten to within literally a moment before he dies, how can he be walking around so soon afterwards with apparently barely a scratch on him. i'm looking at him now, he's walking freely. there's no apparent sign of any serious injury. >> okay, the injury that happened to george are injuries that affected his breathing. they're not injuries that are going to show up on a videotape. breaking your nose and swallowing copious amounts of blood and like i said in first interview, we're confident, all of his medical records when they come to light as they come to light in the court of law will exonerate him. >> which hospital did he have
the broken nose reset? >> piers, i'm not getting into specifics about what doctor treated him, how he was treated. he was treated. there are medical records. if there is a relevant physician that will be subpoenaed in the court of law, he or she will be subpoenaed and will give their testimony. and we're confident that testimony will prove conclusively and without a doubt my brother was attacked and his nose was broken. that was step one of the assault on him. in other words, that was the greeting. there was no warning, you know, that there was an altercation, there was no indication to him that something could have gotten out of hand that maybe this situation, you know, it was time to run away. there was no warning or anything like that. there was just simply -- >> but what people argue, robert, what the hell is george doing anywhere near trayvon martin? he's a young kid, unarmed, he has a bag of skittles.
he's just going home minding his own business. why is your brother armed with a gun, having made a 911 call specifically telling him not to follow. he said, yes, i'm following. specifically told him not to. and he's still in the vicinity of trayvon martin. why? if he hadn't been, if he had got back in his car and driven away, carried on doing whatever he was doing with his life that night, trayvon martin may still be alive. the only reason that trayvon martin is dead because your brother decided that a young black teenager in a hoodie looked suspicious and then pursued him. >> absolutely false, piers. nothing could be further from the truth. >> those are inarguable facts -- >> no, they're not. it is supposition. >> but robert -- >> you have to listen to the 911 tape and george's own words are in context. >> that's not supposition. >> no, it is supposition,
because i'm going to quote to you this tape. i'll quote to you what he said in context of when he made the call. what he said was hi, i'm calling because there have been a significant number of break-ins in my community. so he never called to say, hi, i'm calling because there's a black teenager in a hoodie. you don't call the police in order to go commit murder. you don't call the police and then kill somebody. i mean, that's -- you know, george's expectation was that the police would shortly be there. and that's it. that's what his expectation always was. and that is in his own words on those tapes. and that context is ignored. he didn't say hi, i'm calling because there's a black teenager. he said there's been a lot of break-ins in the area. others have come out and talked about what those suspects have looked like. maybe that's what made george think that the police should be in the area. so that the police can make the determination if that person was suspicious, if that situation was suspicious or not. >> why didn't he leave it to the police?
>> george did leave it to the police. >> but he didn't though, did he? >> no, he did. mr. martin had other plans for george that evening. >> mr. martin had plans for mr. zimmerman? mr. martin didn't know who george was. he was walking home to his girlfriend's house. his only plan was to buy some skittles and go home. see, the reason i'm pressing you on certain facts is i'm not trying to get into the business of supposition. and the case will now -- we'll see a trial. i'm sure there will be other stuff we don't know about. in terms of the facts of the case that are inarguable, trayvon martin was a 17-year-old young black teenager in a hoodie who bought some sweets from a shop and he was going back to his father's girlfriend's house. there was nothing suspicious about what trayvon martin was doing. and actually, if george had just stayed in his car or heeded the advice of the 911 operator not to pursue him, then trayvon
martin would still be alive. i mean, i understand you defend your brother but you must accept that as inarguable fact. >> well, what i can accept is that there are many safe nights, you know, george foiled a robbery in progress that his neighbors enjoyed because on the nights that he was working. he did walk around. and report suspicious persons that may or may not have turned out to be suspicious. he never expected when he made a 911 call for any of this to happen. nobody does when they just report things suspicious. again, the context in which he made that call and you have to understand, piers, this is a gated community. people have a gate up to keep crime out. there's a problem with crime in his community. a major problem with people coming -- returning home to their homes and just finding their stuff gone or broken into. or feeling unsafe because that's the kind of thing that goes on in his community. so george did not call. you keep -- it could have been anybody in a hoodie or in a
jersey or in a jersey sweater or in anything. if that was the description of the people who were committing crimes in his neighborhood and he called in the context of, there are a lot of crimes being committed in this neighborhood. maybe the police should check this out, i don't see anything wrong with that, doing that as a private citizen and he did it as a private citizen. he reported something suspicious to the police. now, conjecture takes over as to the part of, you know, there is no story, but to the part of the conjecture of followed mr. martin, caught up to mr. martin. there was an exchange or something -- you know, something happened like that. nothing happened like that. mr. martin was on the phone with his girlfriend who's on tape saying, trayvon said no, no, i'm not going to run like that. i'm going to walk real slow. to me, walk real slow when you're sneaking up on people. if he really were so close to his home, mr. martin had a choice that night, piers. he could have -- and i believe
should have gone home. you know -- >> but a lot of choices -- >> he's out on a neighborhood watch, he's looking out for his neighbors. this is a reality of where he lives. you or i may not live in places where our homes were broken into. >> but you said your brother wasn't in the neighborhood watch capacity. >> no, he wasn't in the capacity, that doesn't mean that wasn't absent from his mind. he knows his neighborhood is less safe because of a crime. >> but the neighborhood watch code which applies to all neighborhood watches up and down america is very specific that you should not use firearms. >> well, george did not use the firearm while he was on neighborhood watch. you know, we have been over that, piers. we have litsched that. george was going to the store. you had a guest who had a problem with that, named toure who questioned that fact. facts will come out. we're just a family who that night our brother never got home from the store.
>> let me say this, i do appreciate you coming on the show. it's not easy for you. you have done nothing wrong. i appreciate the fact you're defending him. the facts as you say -- i'd like to give you the last word, maybe to say something to the family of trayvon martin because they clearly have been suffering more than anybody in all this. what would you say to them tonight? >> you know, as the family for us, we have nothing left to give. we have had our privacy taken away, you have had your son taken away. there are no winners in this situation in either family. george has been arrested. that's what they have called for. that's what they have witnessed today. and when the wheels of justice turn and when all of the system exonerates my brother, we are confident that will happen, that the truth will come out and that george has been telling the truth the whole time. please for peace sake, for the whole world, and for people who are observing our legal system,
please accept that answer. you know, please in the name of peace let's accept that answer, let's let the system do its job. and not -- >> i think judging by the comments from his parents, they feel exactly the same way. let justice run its course. robert zimmerman, thank you very much for taking the time to come out. >> thanks for having me, piers. >> i appreciate you doing this. >> thank you. coming up, reaction to robert zimmerman told me. i talk to a psychologist. what is george zimmerman's state of mind?
a huge question in the case against george zimmerman is likely to be the state of his mind when he shot trayvon martin. we'll talk about that with ischool gist janet taylor. the brother has not done anything wrong, and clearly he feels passionate and is defending his brother. but he made a series of statements and revealed a lot really about george zimmerman, both on the night and since. what did you make of it?
>> well, obviously, the most information is going to come from george himself, but until he can do that i think it's contradictory information. from the exlawyers painting this picture of saying that he's stressed out and yes, he's stressed. it appears even based on the fact that he started his own website that his functioning is probably closer to normal with expected anxiety and stress. >> but was it normal? because the website carried a series of weird quotes he'd taken from songs and so on. there are reports of ringing up the state's attorney office and not getting through. and ringing up cable news anchormen and so on. this looks like somebody under extreme pressure beginning to behave pretty eradically. his lawyers who come out with no glory at all, the clowns he had for a few days, who quit yesterday and made a public spectacle of it. they sort of implied he was suffering some kind of breakdown. >> well, but here's the thing. we don't know what his
preshooting functioning was. i mean, we know he was impulsive. he had trouble with work and with school. who knows how erratic his own behavior was. i think that will only be found when he has a complete psychiatric or psychologica evaluation. up until now we have bits and points and it's hard to paint a complete picture. >> he's been under incredible stress. i mean, you cannot dispute that. whatever side of the argument you take, george zimmerman is one of the reviled people in the country. perhaps grossly unfairly. we don't know yet. given the amount of stress he's under, given he's been on the run for the month or so, would it be a surprise he's suffering from a psychiatric damage by now? >> you know, it's hard to say that without talking to him because trayvon martin's parents have been under stress too, and we can see how they're presenting themselves. post-traumatic stress is a real disorder, but only 10% to 15% of persons exposed to it will develop it.
it's stressful to be arrested. it will be more stressful to be in prison and to see how he looks when he speaks and what his family reports. >> janet, thank you very much. that's all for us tonight. one thing that i think we should be left with is the memory of trayvon martin's mother who showed again today the great dignity she's thrown throughout all this. she could have called for all sorts of things, for justice, for punishment and revenge. she's only ever said, i just want to have an arrest so that my son sees justice and today she got that arrest and we will now see justice run its course. that surely has to be the right thing. that's all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts in a few moments. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com