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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  July 15, 2013 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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out "the lead" on the internet. i now send you to wolf blitzer. >> is this what trayvon martin's parents want? are they planning a lawsuit of their own? family lawyer darrell parks standing by. plus, sitting down with cnn's sister verdict hln. what they say went wrong with their case and led them to believe the jury was on their side. and will george zimmerman ever, ever be able to return to any sense of normality. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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800,000 naacp signatures, 15,000 on a white house web site, all calling on the obama administration to act in the wake of george zimmerman's not guilty verdict. this amid a second full day of civil rights demonstrations reverberating around the country and across social media platforms. despite the outrage among activists, the white house is making it clear the president won't be involved in that decision. let's go to the white house. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin has the very latest. jessica, what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, civil rights advocates say they believe trayvon martin was shot because he was black and that is a hate crime. so now they want to see him face federal charges. that is a very high standard to meet and the obama administration is busy setting realistic expectations. >> justice for trayvon!
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>> reporter: the pressure is mounting, with protests across the country and on the steps of the justice department. >> eric holder, we are asking the white house, president barack obama to file civil rights charges against george zimmerman. >> in previously scheduled remarks monday, the attorney general indicated his team has not decided whether they'll charge george zimmerman with a hate crime. >> we have opened an investigation into this matter. the department will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law. >> reporter: to prove a federal hate crime, the government would have to show george zimmerman intended to shoot trayvon martin and was motivated by racial hostility. legal experts say that's a very tough case to make. >> a federal civil rights case would be difficult because it would, again, require the government to prove that george zimmerman had a bad intent, in
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this case a racist intent. and one jury has already rejected that claim. it's hard to argue that another jury would see it differently. >> reporter: this puts president obama in a delicate position. >> you know, if i had a son, he'd look like trayvon. >> that was more than a year ago. since the verdict, the nation's first black president has yet to address this issue on camera. instead in a written statement he called martin's death a tragedy for america, but he also called for calm and said we are a nation of laws and a jury has spoken. but the president's team knows that won't be enough. by mid monday there were more than half a million signatures on an naacp petition demanding a federal case. and more than 15,000 signatures on a similar petition to the white house. does the president feel some pressure on his administration to bring a case against zimmerman? >> cases are brought on the
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merits. the merits are evaluated by the professionals at the department of justice. >> reporter: that means all eyes are on attorney general holder, a man not always known for his politic choice of words. monday he seemed to offer a window into his own views on the case, questioning zimmerman's self-defense argument. >> the tragic, unnecessary shooting death of trayvon martin. >> you heard him there, wolf, call it an unnecessary shooting death. sources tell us that the department of justice is still reviewing the trial evidence to decide if there is a case for racial hostility to make this case that the shooting was based on racial hostility. as you know, justice officials will not bring the case unless they believe that they can win such a case. now, i would expect that you could hear the president address the broader issue of trayvon
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martin's death when he answers reporters' questions in interviews later this week, wolf. >> has the justice department, i don't know in you know the answer to this, clarified what eric holder said when he said this is an unnecessary shooting death? have they explained what he meant by that? >> they have not officially put out any word on that, wolf. i can tell you i have been led to believe we should not read too much into those word. we should not interpret that to indicate which way the justice department will go on the larger decision about whether there is a hate crimes case here or not, wolf. >> thank you, jessica yellin over at the white house. let's bring in our chief political analyst, gloria borger, to further assess what's going on right now. how much of this decision eventually by the attorney general and the justice department, let's say the obama administration, will be political? >> you know, wolf, if this were a political decision, i think it
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probably would have been made already. it would be an easy political decision for president obama and for eric holder to pursue civil rights charges against zimmerman, but it is not a political decision. this is a legal decision. and as jessica and jeff toobin pointed out in the piece earlier, this bar is very, very high. you have to prove that zimmerman acted with deliberate intent, that he was racist and that was not the case that was proven in this particular trial. and the justice department is not in the business of raising cases or trying cases with our taxpayer money that it believes it cannot win. >> if they were to try a case like that and lose, who know what is the reaction would be then. they're better off not doing if they don't think they could win. >> if they could win, this woe be there. >> what are you hearing? i know you're working your sources behind the scenes over at the justice department. what's going through the minds
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of officials? >> in talking to some legal sources, there's a sense in the department that there is no need, at least right now, to move quickly on this. they're looking, for example, to see whether there's going to be some kind of a civil lawsuit. if there's a civil lawsuit, i think there's some sense they'd like to see that play out. also, i think they need to have a debrief with the prosecution to find out what evidence was not used in trial, that it's something they might consider if they were to bring a case. so i think that at this point right now, there are people in the justice department saying take a deep breath, do our due diligence, talk to the prosecutor, see what happens on the civil side and let make a decision. >> based on what i've heard, they want everyone to calm down. they're relieved at least so far there hasn't really been much violence or anything like that. should the president speak out to the american public on this issue any time soon? >> i think he has no choice.
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i think at some point he's going to be asked a question directly about it and he's going to have to answer it. i think the problem they've got inside the white house is that whef the president speaks about race, wolf, the conversation becomes about him and not about the issue. and so i think that's what the president is juggling right now. he's got to be the leader of the country, he's got to lower the decibel level, but he doesn't want this to be a conversation about how president obama reacted to the trayvon martin/george zimmerman verdict. he wants the nation to have a conversation about race, not him. >> gloria borger, as usual, thank you. >> sure. >> we certainly haven't heard a whole lot from trayvon martin's parents in the aftermath of saturday night's verdict. but let's get some perspective with how the trayvon martin family is dealing with this. attorney darrell parks, thanks
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so much for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> the attorney general of the united states, do you have confidence in him that he'll do the right thing. >> i have every confidence that the attorney general will use the resources of the federal government to look into this matter. i happened to be at part of the meeting when the justice department had their first meeting with the family and we were able to see the resources that the federal government has used to investigate this case. so i know that they have gotten the information initially and now we're at a point where they can now analyze the evidence that came into the trial to make their decision. i think it's important, wolf, that the difference now, though, is that we now have evidence from the state criminal case where we seen that on all the previous calls that george zimmerman made to the police department all involved black people. the most important thing is in this case the main reason he may have suspected trayvon was doing something wrong was because he
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was black, black being the common denominator. the evidence is a little stronger for the justice department to consider. >> why didn't the state prosecutor bring those issues into this? they didn't talk about race. at one point they mentioned profiling but it wasn't necessarily racial profiling. why didn't the attorneys bring this in? >> well, we don't like to talk about race and it was logical that they use criminal profiling. he had developed a profile that the people who were doing the robberies were all black and all looked a certain way. so black being the common denominator here. they were totally correct not to make race the issue but to make criminal profiling the issue. >> they didn't bring in race at all into the course of those three weeks of testimony.
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what do you want to hear from the president of the united states? let me rephrase it. what does the trayvon martin family, the mom and the dad, the brother, what do they want to hear from the president? >> i think the president's statement he made in writing was totally appropriate. the president should not chime into this conversation while it's clearly a justice department issue. we don't want to make this political. the justice department is the legal arm of the federal government and they have standards that they must apply. they must apply the legal standard and factual evidence to come to their determination as to whether they can put together a case they can win. we have every belief and hope they will base this case from the civil rights division of the justice department in washington to make their decision. obviously they will be consorting with the u.s. attorney for the middle district of florida but the decision in terms of whether the civil right violation we believe should come from the civil rights division of the department of justice in washington. >> tell us how the parents, the
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mom and the dad, how are they coping? how are they dealing with this not guilty verdict? >> well, obviously they were devastated by the verdict on saturday night, although they weren't in the courtroom. we notified them right then. i was so surprised. i had typed on my device "guilty on manslaughter," was about to hit the button and all of a sudden they say "not guilty." so they've gathered themselves. they're very strong people. they have very good fortitude as people. and they are strong. they have strong family support. so they are preparing to move forward. they're preparing to move forward with the trayvon martin foundation, preparing to move forward in their advocacy work around the country. they're going to continue to argue against violence against youths. this issue is bigger than george zimmerman. george zimmerman just happened to be the person that took trayvon martin's life. but what we have is trayvon
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martin's legacy, it's causing this country to have a conversation it normally doesn't have. that's a plus for all of the country. >> will they file a wrongful death civil lawsuit against george zimmerman? >> obviously they have that right but right now, wolf, the big issue is the jury verdict that came down. so it's too fresh to make a decision trying to profit off this death. that is not the time of people they are. these are very good, hard working people who live down in the south florida/miami area. right now they believe their son's legacy has been dealt an ininjuries and they are happy and encouraged by the fact that so many other people feel that this is an injustice and that our government should answer in some way. >> you think we'll be seeing them any time soon, doing interviews, anything along those lines, availability with the
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news media? >> it's funny, ben and i talked about that today at our luncheon meeting. this is a highly emotional, sensitive, very personal for our clients. and so unlike -- they've had their moments even in the past as we've built um for the trial, what's been difficult for them to go on. now that we have this very deaf enni d deafening event on saturday, they'll have to gather themselves and when they are ready, they'll make a statement. >> daryl parks, thanks for joining us. >> thank you for having me, wolf. >> when we come back, the chilling one-word description prosecutors used to describe george zimmerman on sister network hln. that comes up next. and the daughter of martin
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for the first time since their news conference the night george zimmerman was declared not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter, prosecutors are now speaking out on the case they so desperately fought to win. they sat down to talk about what they think went wrong. watch this. >> you know, we're stuck with the evidence we have. >> well, no, it's the truth. we don't get to pick our witnesses. we've got to deal with what we've got and we've got to do the best we can. >> there was a wealth of hard, cold physical evidence, dna and
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everything else that showed that george zimmerman lied in his statements to the police. >> there was no sort of narrative that this jury could follow, that america could follow. >> the problem you've got in a trial is you can't say jury don't speculate and then ask them to speculate. and so we're left with the defendant's story and what we attempted to do as best we could was to prove that his story was false. therefore, why would he be lying about something, something minor about trying to get an address? i thought that was blatantly obviously a lie. when i was talking to the jury and arguing to the jury, i saw them nodding their heads. >> what was the deciding factor? was it a group decision? >> yes. the problem you have is that there was enough evidence, even though i would argue it was insignificant or very little, that there was self-defense. you had john good, you had other people. so they were going to be able to get an instruction as to self-defense. once we knew that was coming on, we felt we need to put this statement on and disprove it.
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>> and you had the injuries. the injuries indicate there was some sort of a struggle. our position all along, we never said that trayvon didn't do something to george zimmerman. what we said is you can't take a concealed weapon and encourage or incite a fist fight, which is what he did by stalking a teen-ager who didn't know who he was and then whip your gun out and shoot. that's what he said. i just got my gun out and shot him. never explaining the details of how he was able to pull his gun if he was being beaten as brutally as he claimed. so we had to put all that in and then clearly refuted it with the dna evidence. no dna on trayvon's hands, who supposedly was covering his bloody nose. those lies were put in front of the jury one after the other after the other. we heard his story or stories, depending on your perspective, on what he said on audiotape, on
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videotape, at the scene, in the police car. what was your story? everybody was wondering what was the prosecution theory of what actually happened? >> well, we were left with inconsistent witnesses in terms of what actually happened and his story. what we were trying to prove is his story is false. our belief as to what happened is he chased down trayvon martin. he wanted to make sure trayvon martin did not get away. he felt trayvon martin was headed towards the back, which is normally what had happened in the previous cases where the guy himself got away that allegedly had committed crimes. he was going to make sure trayvon martin was not going to get away and was going to be there when the police got there. at what point he pulled out the gun, we can speculate. my opinion is he pulled it out early. he wanted to be a cop. >> the screams. what did you think the first time you heard it? >> as soon as i heard those screams, it sounded like a young male voice to me.
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as soon as i heard that the screaming stopped, i knew it was his voice. i thought it was one. most compelling points of the case. >> villainizing trayvon martin and now villainizing you because you guys are hiding the evidence, aren't giving them what they're supposed to have. they kept saying it and saying it and saying it. did you feel like a villain in the courtroom? >> i thought what they were trying to do was create issues for appeal when there really weren't any. there's this thing of we got to depose ben crump. we did that. ben crump never testified. there was issue about this evidence that came out, our i.t. person testified about that. they had the evidence. their own witness testified. mr. connor testified that they had it, that they were trying to
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create those false things going on from a media standpoint. what we were concerned about is what is the jury hearing. as long as the jury said whatever we heard we can set aside and hopefully they stuck to what they said they would, it's irrelevant. but it's the standpoint of the public, our position has always been we try the case in the courtroom. >> let's talk about that relationship. you ever experienced this before, bernie, during a trial, during a case what was going on between this defense team and you guys? >> you know, i've been doing this for over 30 years, no. and i've had some tough cases. i've had tougher cases quite frankly than this, murder of a police officer and everybody thought i'd lose it. you're in the courtroom, you do battle. at the end of the day you respect your opponent. the fighting is in the courtroom, not trying to sway the public out there, which is what was occurring. >> do you respect this defense team? >> i'm not going to comment about them. i'll leave that to other pundits.
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>> one word to describe george zimmerman. >> murderer. >> george zimmerman. >> lucky. >> trayvon benjamin martin. >> i don't know that there's one word that can describe a victim. trayvon benjamin martin. >> pr-r-e-yp-r-e-y, prey.
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>> even though he was found not guilty, she still says that george zimmerman is a murderer. >> she's standing by her conviction that he's a murderer. >> she's not backing down. even though the six women of seminole county said not guilty, set george zimmerman free, in her eyes, he's still a murderer. >> that's the first time -- i don't remember a time -- you have an example of a state attorney still calling someone a murderer who was acquitted. does that come to mind, anything along those lines, or is this pretty extraordinary for her to say that? >> never. never ever saw that. because, you know, we're all lawyers, right? we're very careful with our words afterwards. and it was an emotional response. i don't know if you could see her eyes, but at that moment she didn't scream out murder. i mean, it was something that she was really thinking about. we'll see if there's any
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response to it, but the bottom line is she believes in her case and there's no doubt that they were motivated by anything other than what they truly believed happen happened in this case. >> vinnie, thank you. you can catch the entire interview on hln "after dark" at 10 p.m. >> coming up civil rights and the justice department. dr. martin luther king's daughter, dr. bernese king, she is here with me in the situation room. we'll discuss. [ mortazavi ] i'm definitely a perfectionist.
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. happening now, george zimmerman's acquittal raising civil rights issues to the top of the nation's agenda. dr. martin luther king's daughter, dr. bernice king is here in the situation with me. zimmerman himself is staying out of sight, at least for now. we're taking a closer look at what his future may hold. plus, a bizarre offshoot of the asiana plane crash here in "the situation room." >> the george zimmerman murder case ignited fierce debates about the state of race in the united states long before the not guilty verdict came down saturday night. now many are asking what all of this means for the future of the civil rights movement in this
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country. our mary snow is working that for us with more information. what do you see? >> reporter: members of the congressional black caucus gathered here in new york today to discuss moving forward after the verdict. they say instead of seeing the verdict as a setback, they view it as a way to hit the reset button and they're calling for a real conversation about race and the criminal justice system. from the nation's capital to cities across the country, voices were raised. along with outrage, a message to send after a jury aquits george zimmerman. the verdict isn't ending the debate. rather it's forcing a nationwide conversation about race and the justice system. >> i view this decision as an opportunity to hit the reset button and for america to have a real conversation about the intersection between race, the criminal justice system and how and whether young black men are
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treated differently on account of their colors. >> members of the congressional black caucus calling on the department of justice to consider federal civil rights charges against zimmerman. >> at least in my view, george zimmerman identified trayvon martin as a potential criminal because he was black. >> reporter: hundreds of thousands of people have signed online petitions asking the department of justice to act. the reverend al sharpton says demonstrations demanding federal action are planned in 100 cities on saturday. zimmerman's lawyers have said race was not a factor. but some members of congress see the widespread protests as evidence of why they need to work harder. >> we got a lot of work to do. a lot of individuals thought because president obama was elected we live in a post-racial
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america. those of us in congress and on the street let us know that's not the case and we have a long way to go. >> not guilty. >> this case, they say, has strengthened their resolve. wolf, lawmakers who gathered today say the first place they plan to have conversations about race in america is congress and reevaluate some of the laws that exist. wolf? >> thank you very much. joining us, dr. bernice king, the daughter of the late martin luther king, jr. thank you very much for coming in. >> thank you. good to be here. >> if your dad were alive today and saw what was going on as far as the zimmerman trial was concerned and the not guilty verdict, what do you think he would say? >> well, i think the first thing he would make an appeal to everyone, because my father had an incredible ability to understand the range of human emotions on both sides of the issue. so his first thing would be to make an appeal to all people, to
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not let this further divide us, that we should not drink from the cup of bitterness and anger and hate in this moment. this should be an opportunity for us to really look at this racial issue that continues to haunt us, that continues to face us as a nation. i do think that he would probably feel a little bit of a disappointment in the verdict in this situation. >> just a little bit? >> well, you know, he would feel disappointed, i'll say it that way. but, again, i think he would focus -- because he was a leader. he was a non-violent leader. his main focus in everything that he did was about keeping people grounded in that. >> do you think he would take any specific action as a result of the not guilty verdict? in other words, encourage people to go to the streets, to demonstrate, peacefully, but to do things along those lines?
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>> i think he would encourage people to do those things, but i think also what attorney general eric holder at the justice department has done, he would encourage that as well. but more importantly, he would probably in times like these, because we are 50 years later and there has been some changes in america, although for a lot of african-american children, in particular black males, there has not been. so he would look at this as an opportunity for us as a nation to really sit down and have a dialogue and discourse and the kind of discourse that doesn't rise to the level of hostility. because oftentimes when we get to these very difficult places, it gets very hostile and very emotional. and unfortunately, you know, hate cannot put out hate. only love can do that. and so we have to figure out how to have these discussions out of a heart of love knowing that it's a very difficult discussion. because over and over again african-american boys in
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particular get the short end of the stick in our justice system. >> you were there when eric holder, the attorney general of the united states, spoke out today on the zimmerman trial and the verdict. do you have confidence that eric holder as attorney general will do the right thing? >> i have confidence that he will certainly do his best. i do. but for me, i think this is -- this is a call for all of us. i mean, our president has spoken, the justice department is doing their part, but at the end of the day presidents come and go, attorney generals come and go but we as a people still remain. and we are the ones that are going to have to really engage in these discussions in our local communities. >> the trayvon martin family attorney benjamin crump tweeted that -- he said you tweeted him that this was, in his words -- or maybe your words -- the defining moment for the status of my father's dream.
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i wonder if you'd explain what you meant by that. >> i said a defining moment. we're in the 50th anniversary year of his "i have a dream" speech. and depending on how we handle this is going to determine how much progress we've made. if we ignore what has happened because regardless of whether the rule of law spoke, people have spoken and people have very heart-felt feelings of what has taken place. and some people do see this has a racial issue and rightfully so. if we just spend the weekend on it and move on, that we're not giving it the justice it needs. i think it's defining in that vain but also whether or not we will have decent dialogue and
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discussion to look at what we need to do to prevent these kind of things and even change some of these laws. but more importantly, this is a time where we must understand our roll and responsibilities of citizens to be more vigilant. >> dr. bernice king, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> up next, what may be ahead for george zimmerman based on what other high-profile defendants went through after their acquittals. plus, why the ntsb is getting rid of an intern and a tv station may be in some serious legal trouble, all because of what happened after the asiana crash. tony used priceline to book this 4 star hotel. tell 'em why.
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multi-layered security solutions keep your information safe, and secure. and responsive dedicated support meets your needs, and eases your mind. centurylink. your link to what's next. i don'without goingcisions to angie's list first. with angie's list, i know who to call, and i know the results will be fantastic! find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. george zimmerman's attorney says he's in hiding, at least for now. but life after being acquitted doesn't amount to much of a life, at least for a lot of folks out there. cnn's david mattingly takes a closer look now at what could be next for george zimmerman as a free man and the challenges that may lie ahead. >> reporter: he's been in hiding
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for over a year, daring to venture out only in disguise and wearing body armor. since killing trayvon martin, life for george zimmerman is filled with isolation and caution. >> there a lot of people who think george killed trayvon for racial reasons, even though nothing supports that. and if they feel that anger enough, they could react violently. >> reporter: there have been tweets, e-mail and letters wishing him bodily harm or death. now that george zimmerman is free, it's almost certain he won't be able to go back to the life he had before, pursuing a career in law enforcement. >> that is the absolute worst thing you can do. it might be your old passion. my advice would be you need to find a new passion. and it needs to be helping people in a very different way. a way that is much more compassionate, not just involving law enforcement. >> reporter: for a view of life after acquittal, zimmerman may need to look no further than casey anthony, the hated young
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mother found not guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. she has since lived in hiding and financial ruin. cheney mason w her defense attorney. >> and you never know who the nuts are and where they are. there are still people that threaten me. >> reporter: it sounds like there are some very severe consequences for being found guilty in a court of public opinion. >> they are. you don't have jello and cheese sandwiches in jail. >> reporter: it may not be over for zimmerman. he continues to have support from his family and friend frie. >> he has to be careful about accepting money from groups that maybe would create more friction because of the tenor of this case. he's got to be very careful about who he associates with
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afterwards, even if they're offering financial support. >> reporter: shortly after his dramatic acquittal, george zimmerman's first steps back into private life were hidden from cameras and public view. his destination, his plans a closely guarded secret. >> he has always feared for his safety, we have always feared for his safety and our safety as a family. clearly he's a free man in the eyes of the court but he's going to be looking around his shoulder for the rest of his life. >> reporter: david mattingly, cnn, sanford, florida. >> and just ahead, why a story about the asiana plan crash got a government intern and a tv station in big trouble.
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this is cnn breaking news. >> security forces tear gassing protesters in cairo right now. there are demonstrations pro and anti-mohamed morsi. nick, you're in the middle of all that. what's going on? you're on the phone. >> reporter: we are around the square in cairo here and we're witnessing a lengthy standoff between pro-morsi and the police. some were crossing the bridge over the square and there seems to be firing and then protesters returning with rocks. it crossed over the bridge to the other side and it appeared to be a quite different
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atmosphere there with a different crowd there, supporting and cheering the police along. what's important the most is on top of this bridge [ inaudible ]. it appears there is the arrival of some police further down. they are now throwing rocks in that general direction. but this is the worst scuffle, tension you might even call it, that we've seen for days now here. let me give you the context. it comes after a weekend of heavy government activity to appoint a cabinet, to get the foreign relations team, vice president of internal affairs and foreign minister ready. the prime minister met with the army chief of staff and defense minister here. certainly these are the scenes i'm sure neither side wanted to
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the bridges and the roads were blocked by protesters, but it will take some investigation to get to the bottom of that. we are seeing thousands of protesters, predominantly pro-morsi. using the rocks to throw at the police. substantial tear gas in the air. one man limping, injured. definitely a tense atmosphere. the question is when the army or police lose their patience. >> we see the tear gas. we see the smoke. it's a dangerous, dangerous situation. nick, be careful over there. right in the middle of the activity. and william burns is in cairo right now meeting with high-ranking egyptian officials. we'll stay on top of this story. coming up, a very different kind of story. we're going live to london where
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the royal baby is keeping everyone waiting. members of the american postal worker's union handle more than 165 billion letters and packages a year. that's about 34 million pounds of mail every day. ever wonder what this costs you as a taxpayer?
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millions? tens of millions? hundreds of millions? not a single cent. the united states postal service doesn't run on your tax dollars. it's funded solely by stamps and postage. brought to you by the men and women of the american postal worker's union.
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new developments today in a bizarre side story in the recent asiana airlines crash that has nothing to do with the crash itself. what caused the crash, but with a mocking list of racist names broadcast by a california tv station. more on what happened. explain what happened. >> reporter: very bizarre, indeed. it just keeps getting more strange. first the ntsb summer intern,
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the ntsb is confirming to cnn, being let go, losing his or her volunteer summer job. and asiana says it is now preparing to file a lawsuit against a california tv station for inadvertently airing what appears to be just a random joke. here's the statement that we got from asiana airlines. the airline saying "after a legal review, the company decided to file a lawsuit against the network because it was their report that resulted in damaging the company's image." ktvu did apologize for airing the offensive remarks. asiana, despite the fact that they're in the middle of this very large plane investigation, three people who have died, three young people who have died, trying to help all the injured, asiana says it is moving forward with this lawsuit. what is happening here is that this is a company, a korean-based company that has global aspirations. it truly does feel that its reputation is being harmed
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because these comments are being perpetuated on the web, and really, wolf, what's happening is that these are quite juvenile kmen comments. one of the names that was released, reporting that these are pilot names released, someone of them was sum ting wong. it's something you would hear on a playground. asiana feeling that it has this visceral reaction to this. this is all happening in the background. a very strange sideshow to this entire television. >> thanks very much. when we come back, the guessing game in great britain and beyond. when will the royal baby make his or her appearance?
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saving time by booking an appointment online, even smarter. online scheduling. available now at meineke.com. there is plenty of anticipating in great britain today, but not the news everyone's watching for. max foster has the latest on the wait for the royal baby. >> reporter: after a huge amount of buildup to this story, of course, we do finally seem to be in the latter stages, at least. the only official word we had about the due date was mid july. we're now into that period. i've also been told that prince
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william has been given the next few days off work, so he seems to be braced for the big moment as well. certainly the world's media are ready. if you look at the pack of journalists and camera men outside the hospital, every part of the world is represented here. all the u.s. networks, for example. even polish networks. five polish networks have been here recording pieces, building up to this part of the fairytale. a fairytale that started with a commoner meeting a prince, getting married, and then the next big step to the story is they have a baby. all we need now is the baby to appear on the steps behind me. max foster, cnn london. happening now, protests, prayers, and pressure on the justice department to bring new charges against george zimmerman. this hour, the tough choice after the not guilty verdict. plus, one of the zimmerman jurors makes plans to tell her
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story, but right now, there's enormous secrecy and fear surrounding those six women. and we're awaiting the results of an autopsy and drug test on the "glee" star cory monteith after the 31-year-old actor's shocking death. i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. you're in "the situation room." in churches, on the streets, online, americans are venting their opinions and emotions about george zimmerman's not guilty verdict. for trayvon martin supporters, the outrage seems to be hardening with each passing hour since the jury's decision saturday night. many protesters are focused on the possibility of new charges against zimmerman for martin's death, but the former neighborhood watch volunteer supporters say justice was served and it's time to move on. cnn's martin savidge is in sanford, florida, watching this case for us. he has been since the beginning. what's the very latest, martin?
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>> reporter: here in the community of sanford, which really for the last 18 months has been living through the tragedy of 17-year-old trayvon martin's death, there was some concerns initially that there could be a violent reaction. so they had planned accordingly. but during the process, they realized that rather than rely on police and force, it would be better in this community to rely on their faith, and that's what we saw today. >> we sanctify this time today -- >> reporter: sanford residents gathered for a noon service to promote healing. there were prayers for the families of trayvon martin and george zimmerman. does it help the community? >> yes, yes. it helps the community keep the peace. >> reporter: a day and a half after the decision, many here remain divided but are not surprised that through it all, the community has remained calm. >> this is not going to be what defines us, either during the
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trial or the day after the trial. >> reporter: that's not the case everywhere. in los angeles, protesters angrily demonstrated against the not guilty verdict, triggering a number of arrests. >> i feel great right now. i feel great right now. >> reporter: in new york, they marched in times square. a handful even gathered outside the department of justice in washington. in orlando monday, the naacp national meeting held a moment of silence. >> pray for our nation, which is joining in a moment of silence. >> reporter: it would be wrong to say that back here in sanford everyone is in agreement with the verdict. they definitely are not. it is still a divided community, even though the trial has come to an end. >> martin, what else are city officials doing to maintain the
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peace? >> they're very aware here that this community remains a touch stone to many people who are connected to the tragedy of trayvon martin's death and the outcome of this trial. so the church service, like the one that was held today, there will be ones held on every monday for the next coming weeks and everyone is allowed to attend. they also point out that if people wish to come to this community to demonstrate, they are welcome. as long as they are peaceful and inclusive of everyone else's thoughts and ideas. wolf? >> martin savidge on the ground for us in sanford, florida. thank you. more than 800,000 people have signed petitions urging the justice department here in washington to pursue civil rights charges against george zimmerman. the naacp has been leading the push for federal action. the attorney general of the united states eric holder says his department is investigating to uncovering the truth. athena jones is looking at this part of the story.
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it's a difficult part of the story, having done some research into the legal aspects of what's going on. >> that's exactly right. the justice department is still deciding whether to bring federal civil rights charges against george zimmerman. and while officials are facing a lot of public pressure to do so, it's far from certain that they will. anger and calls for federal action in response to the not guilty verdict in the george zimmerman case. >> we are also mindful of the pain felt by our nation surrounding the tragic, unnecessary shooting death of trayvon martin in sanford, florida, last year. >> in remarks to one of the largest black sororities in the country, attorney general eric holder said the rule of law will dictate how the government proceeds. >> i want to assure you that the department will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law, and we will never stop working to
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ensure that in every case, in every circumstance, and in every community, justice must be done. >> justice department prosecutors have been working with the fbi and florida officials on a parallel investigation into the case since last year. reviewing evidence, interviewing witnesses, and talking to people who know zimmerman. but officials face a high bar when it comes to charging him with a federal hate crime. >> they're going to have to prove, a, that zimmerman did not act in self-defense, and that b, in fact, his motivation was racial hatred, to think that the justice department will be able to prove racial animus, it's a real mountain o'crimto climb. >> in brooklyn new york, federal prosecutors convicted two african-american men of killing
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an orthodox ju. and some of the best known civil rights cases were brought under a different law because they involved police misconduct. when rodney king was beaten by four los angeles police officers in 1991, the officers were acquitted in state court. federal prosecutors later won convictions against two of them for violating king's civil rights. and as you mentioned, as of this afternoon, more than 800,000 people had signed petitions calling on the justice department to file civil rights charges against zimmerman. that's according to the naacp. we know those cases aren't tried on the basis of public opinion here in the u.s. but these protests and petitions we've been seeing around the country are a clear sign of just how much anger we could see if zimmerman isn't ultimately charged. >> a lot of politics involved. a lot of pressure under way right now. thanks very much. let's bring in our analysts to
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assess what's going on. sunny, what do you any? do you any the justice department has enough there to actually not just go ahead with a charge, a civil rights charge of a hate crime against george zimmerman, but to win, to win that case in court? >> well, wolf, we don't know what they have. we know that they've been conducting this parallel investigation for at least a year. they have worked with state prosecutors, so they have that information. they have the information that also there was an acquittal in this case. and my understanding is that they've interviewed many witnesses. so we don't know the strength of their investigation. we don't know the strength of their evidence. and so i think it's too soon to suggest that they don't have enough to go forward. i will tell you this. the bar is pretty high for this type of prosecution. and federal prosecutors don't necessarily like to take these kinds of cases to trial without real evidence of racial motive, racial bias, and so unless they have that kind of evidence, i suspect they won't bring a case.
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but at this point, we don't know what they have. >> there are some who say there is that kind of evidence supposedly out there that for whatever reason the state prosecutors in florida decided not to use. they didn't bring up the whole racial issue in the whole three-week trial in florida. what's your sense? what does the justice department have at least as far as we know? >> well, from what we've heard, and there's no way to substantiate this, that there's about 30 witnesses that the fbi and the government has, in fact, spoken to considering their parallel investigation. and we know that we had a very aggressive state attorney's office. and we have hate crime laws in florida. if, in fact, they could have assessed that there was a hate crime, one surely would have had to believe that they would have brought that forward. in fact, the state attorneys, when they were giving their press conference, made it a point of saying that this was, in fact, not about race. so because the standard is so very, very high, as it relates
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to a hate crime and because so many question marks do exist, and many things didn't come out on both sides, as i understand it, that i think that it's an insurmountable mountain for the government to, in fact, climb, and in fact, if they were to try to do that, i think that for them to not be able to prove a case would prove all the worse for the government. i think that we need to move forward in addressing things such as the laws on the books, the firearm issues, and matters such as that so we can find some good out of this horrendous tragedy. but to simply go ahead and try to now make a hate crime that the government i think most experts would agree would have next to an impossible time proceeding with is not the right direction to go in. >> jeff, you used to work for the u.s. attorney's office. you were a prosecutor. what do you think? >> it's tough. and remember, the opening statement of the prosecutor in this case was about zimmerman's hostility, zimmerman's anger. that was the evidence that the
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government tried to put forward here. that was a big part of the government's case. and for whatever reason, the jury didn't buy it. so the u.s. attorney, the united states justice department is going to have to decide what's different, what can we bring to this case that the united states government -- that the florida state government didn't bring, and why would we win when they lost. it's slightly different under the law, but it's not that different. and, you know, the question is what would be different at a trial? at this point, i don't know. >> we're going to continue this. but one of the things some of the trayvon martin family lawyers have suggested is there are a whole bunch of other 911 calls that george zimmerman made and they insist all of them involved what they called suspected black males walking around the neighborhood there in sanford, florida. again, don't go away, hold on. we've got more to discuss, including trayvon martin's parents, their grief and their legal option. will they file a civil lawsuit
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trayvon martin's mother describes the moments after george zimmerman was acquitted as her darkest hour. the teenager's parents are still trying to come to grips with the verdict. i spoke with their attorney darrell parks a little while ago here in "the situation room," and i asked him if his clients will move forward with a civil lawsuit against the man who killed their son. >> right now, wolf, the big issue is the jury verdict that came down. and so it's too fresh to make that type of decision. they're not some money-hungry people trying to profit off of his death. that's not the type of people these are. they are very good, hard-working
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type of people who live in the south florida miami area. they'll make that decision at the appropriate time. right now, though, they believe their son's legacy has been dealt an injustice and they are happy and encouraged by the fact that so many other people feel that this is an unjustiinjustic that our government should answer in some way. >> let's go back to our panel. jeffrey, you covered the o.j. simpson trial. he was acquitted on the murder charges, but then there was a wrongful death lawsuit that the family filed. he was convicted on that. are we going to see a similar thing develop now? >> well, we could. and, of course, the big difference between a civil and a criminal case is that in a criminal case, the burden of proof is very high. it's proof beyond a reasonable doubt. in a civil case, the plaintiffs, trayvon martin's family, would only have to prove preponderance of the evidence. more probable than not. and jail wouldn't be on the table, but money damages would.
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the question, of course, is in addition to sort of the legal issues is would it be worth it when george zimmerman doesn't appear to have any money to speak of? would lawyers spend all this time, all this money for a symbolic judgment against him? they might. but that's obviously something to consider. >> what do you think, mark? what's the downside of the family doing this? >> well, just having to relive all of this again. going through the pain and agony of having to relive yet another trial and another case. but there's some more aspects to it. and that is that george zimmerman in a civil case does not have any fifth amendment privileges. so if, in fact, there is more of a moral aspect to it than a financial one, it's very possible that, unless he went for default judgment, which would have a judgment answered against him without testifying, that they could be wanting to have him on the stand so that at least that could come out under oath during the course of a case. there's also another issue, and that is that george zimmerman has a pending case, as we
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understand it, against another network for slander, defamatory statements, libel for editing the tapes, considering beginning all this, which some would allege is what helped ignite the fire about this case where the tapes were allegedly altered. if, in fact, there's a substantial recovery there, there would at least arguably be a pool of money for the martin family to go after, trayvon's parents to be able to go after. so there's a lot of moving parts in this, and i think that their attorney, who i think is accident, daryl parks, he said it well, right now they're having to absorb what's going on. and then i think they'll sit down and evaluate all these different areas and decide which direction they're going. because it is a very big, long, tedious ordeal to be going through another lawsuit and that surely has to factor into their decision. >> that other network that they filed that lawsuit against is nbc. let's talk about that.
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what do you think the family will do or should do? >> you know, i think certainly they're looking at their options, and it's not unpr unprecedented for a family to file a wrongful death civil suit and to be successful. we saw that with the goldman family. and i think in many respects, families feel that it is some sort of justice. they have power over a defendant for some time, because if you have the power to take every bit of money that someone will ever make for the rest of their lives, that does give you a sense of power. but i think another point, wolf, that we're missing is that we still have that stand your ground statute in florida, and if, perhaps, he invokes it civilly, i'm told that he may even have immunity to civil litigation. i spoke to mark o'mara about that this afternoon. so that's yet another piece of this that i'm sure the family has to think about. if you do all of this, are you then going to -- you know, is
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george zimmerman going to be immune from suit? >> i want all three of you to weigh in, but very quickly, because we have very little time on what angela cory, the florida state attorney told our sister network hln. she was asked, do you have one word to describe george zimmerman? and then she said low-key "murderer." we have the sound byte. >> one word to describe george zimmerman. >> murderer. >> george zimmerman. >> lucky. >> you heard her say -- and i'll start with you, jeffrey. murderer. even though he was found not guilty by this jury in her
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state. >> what a politician's answer. why don't they do a better job trying cases and a little less playing word games with reporters. i just think that's bogus and ridiculous. >> sunny? >> i don't know. i mean, i think this prosecution certainly felt that they had enough evidence to seek a second-degree murder conviction. and when you're a prosecutor and you feel that way, and you feel that you lost your case, yeah, you still see that person as a murderer. so perhaps that was her way of saying that. >> mark? >> i think it's basically a lot of denial and a lot of twisting and turning and spinning. they should have never brought a second-degree murder charge. everybody knows that. almost everybody knows that. >> i don't know that. >> they thought they had a case -- i said almost everybody. i think if they thought they had a solid case, manslaughter was the way to go. i think they contaminated the case by twisting facts, trying to prove second-degree murder, such as who was on top of who,
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when they knew right from the beginning, the real fact from the real start. i think they went ahead and misled the public in many ways and gave false hope to many people in many ways and by overcharging this case, they went ahead and in large part lost the case because of their, in my opinion, arrogance of twisting the facts in this case when they should have just gone straight up to a manslaughter and gone in that direction, rather than all the smoke and mirrors that they tried to get in, that eventually they even backed away from at the end -- before the trial even ended. by use of the dummies and the switch-around. i think this is simply, as was stated, i think it's politicians acting like politicians rather than as prosecutors. >> all right, guys. we're going to continue our analysis. thanks so much, in the meantime, for joining us. up next, president obama walks a very careful line after the zimmerman verdict. we're taking a closer look at the legal and political pressures on his administration right now with the new co-host
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of cnn's "crossfire." they are disagreeing on what is going on. and did "glee" star cory monteith die of an overdose? officials moving ahead with an autopsy and drug tests right now. what's your function? ♪ ♪ hooking up the country helping business run ♪ ♪ trains! they haul everything, safely and on time. ♪ tracks! they connect the factories built along the lines. and that means jobs, lots of people, making lots and lots of things. let's get your business rolling now, everybody sing. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ helping this big country move ahead as one ♪ ♪ norfolk southern how's that function? ♪
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happening now, new demands of justice for trayvon martin. the legal and political pressure on the obama administration now that george zimmerman has been acquitted. plus, jurors in the jodi arias murder trial tell us what the zimmerman jurors are going
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through right now and how it could get worse if they go public. and huge protest against the republican-led state government. is north carolina the new wisconsin? i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." the white house says president obama won't personally get involved in deciding whether to pursue civil rights charges against george zimmerman. the president issued a carefully worded statement yesterday, urging americans to respect the not guilty verdict in zimmerman's murder trial. he also called the death of trayvon martin a tragedy. it was a less emotional take on the case than we heard from the president in his now famous remark shortly after martin was killed. >> but my main message is to the parents of trayvon martin. you know, if i had a son, he'd look like trayvon.
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and, you know, i think they are right to expect that all of us as americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and that we're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened. >> let's talk about the president's role in this case, the politics at play, and more. we're joined by two of the new co-hosts of "crossfire," the new show on cnn that will start airing this fall. the former house speaker newt gingrich is joining us as well as the former obama white house official van jones. newt, i'm going to call you newt now that you're a colleague at cnn. you can call me wolf. or you call me mr. blitzer, i'll call you newt. all right, should eric holder file a civil rights hate crime charge against george zimmerman? >> i think it would be an absurdity. i think it would be a miscarriage of justice. the standard for a hate trial is higher than the standard for murder. a jury of six people spent five
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weeks listening to all the case, all the arguments, and concluded there was not a case there. this is a tragedy. it's a tragedy that trayvon martin is dead. but the jury concluded it was not an act of murder. it wasn't even an act of manslaughter. to think that the justice department can come in and cross this much higher threshold, i think would be absolutely an abuse of justice rather than the behavior of injustice. >> let's see what van jones has to say. go ahead. >> well, look, i think we need to let the process go forward. there is, i think, a basis for continuing an inquiry here. it does seem that there was a pattern and practice on the part of mr. zimmerman of focusing in on minority kids when he began to become this neighborhood watch hero, possibly in his own mind. that pattern and practice could be the basis for real concern here. i do want to say this.
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you know, the president of the united states has gotten a lot of criticism for the statement that he made about if this young man -- if he had had a son, he would look like that young man. i think the criticism has really been unfair. i do think that in that moment, you had a need for him to make a human connection across the board with all americans. it's almost become the point where if this president acknowledges his racial or ethnic background in any way, he is criticized. i don't think that's right. if you look at what he actually did -- just to complete my thought, what he actually did in making that statement, he talked about all americans, and he had the department of justice look into it and he has since stood back and played no role. and by repeatedly criticizing him for one half of a fragment of a sentence, it's almost as if the president of the united states is somehow inserted himself into the actual trial. he never did that. >> i just think it's important at the very end of the
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president's statement, as you just played it, the president says we should get to the bottom of this. well, under our system, we had a prosecution with full power of the government, the attorney general indicated he and the fbi have been talk for the last three weeks. you have to presume that every possible effort they made to help the prosecution, they had five weeks in a jury trial. they had six jurors sworn to do their duty. these six jurors listened to this case. deliberated for 16 hours. and they said while it is a tragedy, it is not murder, it is not manslaughter, that in fact, they believe george zimmerman had reasonable grounds to believe his life was in danger and it was self-defense. now, my only point is for the justice department to try to jump in on top of that would be absolutely a travesty of justice. it would be exposing zimmerman to a second round of risk, which is deeply against our system, and there's no evidence that they could pass that threshold any more than the prosecution.
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>> van, go ahead and respond. >> well, listen, first of all, we've been down this road before. please let's not forget that the first trial for the rodney king case, where you had those four lapd officers who almost beat a black motorist unarmed to death, were initially acquitted. and then you had the department of justice look into it and they found that there was reason to move forward and they did move forward and they actually wound up with convictions. now, that was under the law, those were actual police officers and not neighborhood watch people. but we do have a tradition in this country, where there are multiple levels of review. we've had one level of review. the department of justice should look into this. it made a big difference in the rodney king outcome finally. we also -- should be a civil case explored. i just think that we need to respect the entire system. i think done a good job respecting this jury's decision at the state level. but there are other levels of
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our system that should be allowed to go forward. >> quickly to both of you, van, you first, the florida state attorney who led the prosecution, even though she wasn't necessarily in the courtroom, she just told our sister network hln that one word to describe george zimmerman, and she called him "murderer." does that respect the system? >> well, her job was to bring forward a prosecution, if she did not believe he was a murder, she shouldn't have charged him with second-degree murder. so i think it's consistent with her role and her function, her duty. i think obviously if i were mr. zimmerman, though, i would take offense and i think most americans think that that was ill-considered on her part. but i understand her trying to be consistent. she might be criticized if she were to say he was not a murderer, having just charged him with murder. >> does that respect the system? >> no, it doesn't respect the system. you have a prosecutor going out of her way to say that six
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jurors are wrong, the judge is wrong. she lost the case, to call a person who has been declared innocent a murderer is inflammatory -- >> not innocent. not guilty. there's a difference. >> i think it's very difference. >> she didn't use those two words, not guilty. she said murderer when she was asked by vinny, one word to describe george zimmerman, even though a jury acquitted him and said he was not guilty. make a final point, then i've got to go. >> she may not have been respectful of the jury. i do want to point out there was all this fear that black community and black youth would be disrespectful and riot and there was almost no violence at all. please let's give respect to the young people across the country who have shown respect for this process and i think that the media owes them a big apology for assuming that just because they were black and mad, they were going to riot. no riots in america. >> we never assume that. not this part of the media, at least, in this room, "the situation room." our thanks very much, van jones,
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newt gingrich, the new co-host of "crossfire" that starts later in the fall. up next, should the jurors who acquitted george zimmerman go public? and what happens if they do? we're talking to jurors in some other high-profile cases. we know it's your most important videoconference of the day. hi! hi, buddy! that's why the free wifi and hot breakfast are something to smile about. book a great getaway now and feel the hamptonality i've got a nice long life ahead.
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we learned today that would have been the jurors who acqu acquitted george zimmerman is planning to write a book. there is concern for their safety. cnn's brian todd has more on the six women of the jury and what they may be facing right now. what are you learning? >> there is a lot of concern about their safety, their privacy. we spoke with jurors from other highly charged cases, some of whom say for these six women on the zimmerman panel, life may not be the same again. so far, this is all we've heard from them. the six women who acquitted
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george zimmerman are still anonymous. we don't know when judge deborah nelson might lift an order which keeps the jurors' names secret, but it seems now that like george zimmerman, the members of this panel are dealing with significant public backlash. >> the system is not broken. it's the people that are involved with the system, like the jurors themselves. >> reporter: what's in store for members of the zimmerman jury if their names are made public? we spoke to jurors from other highly charged cases. tara kelly was an alternate on the jury that convicted jodi arias of murdering her ex-boyfriend. she says it's a completely different world once your name is out there. >> you know, i had people googling me and shopping pictures off my facebook of my kid and my family. if you're on social media, it can get ugly. >> reporter: diane schwartz was a regular juror in the arias trial. she says most of her post-verdict experience was mostly positive. what is the biggest change in
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your life after a case like this? >> for us, not being sequestered, we all became very careful with where we went, who we talked to, what we did, because everyone wanted to talk about the trial. >> reporter: julie, part of a panel that convicted scott peterson in 2004 of killing his wife and their unborn child, has a similar story. >> i would go to work, a lot of people would want to ask me, oh, all about -- they wanted to know everything. what was this like? what was that like? you know, just like random people that i never really even talked to before. >> reporter: she says others on her jury got death threats. judge gregory mize is concerned about the zimmerman jurors' safety. he says they may also go through what's called vicarious traumatization, being so connected with the facts of a tragedy that emotionally you feel like you've gone through it yourself. >> the jurors are hearing some very disturbing things over and over and over again.
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you add that to their not going home, they're going to their sequestered location at a hotel, you add all of that up, it's rough. >> reporter: judge mize says very often the court will offer jurors help with that with counselling, information packages or debriefing with others who have dealt with that kind of trauma in their professional lives like first responders. >> what about physical protection if needed for one of these jurors, or a couple of them? >> judge mize said if need be, the courts will offer protection for them. the courts would work with the local sheriff's offices if they have information about a credible threat to their lives. but he said it's not open-ended. they can't get it forever. even the stress of 24-hour protection is stressful on the juror. >> let's hope that doesn't happen. thanks very, very much. revealing remarks by vladimir putin today about the
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nsa leaker edward snowden. we're going live to moscow. [ ship horn blows ] no, no, no! stop! humans. one day we're coming up with the theory of relativity, the next... not so much. but that's okay -- you're covered with great ideas like optional better car replacement from liberty mutual insurance. total your car and we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. learn about it at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance.
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the russian president vladimir putin says the nsa leaker edward snowden is "shifting his position when it comes to meeting russia's terms for asylum." phil black is in moscow where snowden is still holed up. what's the latest, phil? >> reporter: well, these were president putin's first comments on edward snowden since the fugitive declared his intention to seek political asylum in this country and putin began by blaming the united states for snowden's continued presence in this country. he said it was america's actions
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that had trapped him here. take a look. >> translator: the moment news arrived that he was in midair, our american partners actually blocked his further movement. the united states had intimidated other countries so that nobody wants him. that's how they blocked him on our territory. this is some kind of christmas gift for us. >> reporter: president putin admitted that russia had previously offered snowden asylum here because he turned it down because of that condition which said he'd have the stop all political activity here. putin said he insisted on that condition because he was worried about damaging relations between the united states and russia. but he now senses that snowden is beginning to change his position on that condition, although he says it's not entirely clear. crucially, for snowden, putin didn't rule out the possibility of being allowed to leave that transit zone at the airport to set here for a time. but he did say that as soon as there's a chance he can travel
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to another country, naturally, he will do so. >> phil black reporting. a quick update, by the way, on a story that shocked a lot of folks over the weekend. the coroner's office performed an autopsy and toxicology tests today on the body of the actor cory monteith, the 31-year-old star of "glee" was found dead in a vancouver hotel room on saturday. we're not expecting results, we're told, for several days. up next, big protests at the north carolina state house. there's growing anger at the republican governor. our jim acosta asked him. this man is about to be the millionth customer. would you mind if i go ahead of you? instead we had someone go ahead of him and win fifty thousand dollars. congratulations you are our one millionth customer. nobody likes to miss out. that's why ally treats all their customers the same. whether you're the first or the millionth. if your bank doesn't think you're special anymore,
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thousands rallying, protesting at the north carolina state house for weeks. today, they heated up due to a controversial abortion bill and it is all part of the protest dubbed, moral monday. our national political correspondent jim acosta is in raleigh. he is joining us now. what's going on in north carolina? >> reporter: wolf, washington no longer has a monopoly on partisanship and political rancor. take what is happening at the moral mondays protest in north carolina. in the last 15 minutes, hundreds of protesters filed into the state house behind me. many of them expect to be arrested. >> this is moral mono over. >> reporter: every week for three straight months and 700 arrests later, demonstrators are still rallying at north carolina's republican dominated state house to send a message. >> it is just wrong. what they did with unemployment is wrong. what they did with medicaid is wrong. >> reporter: they're calling it moral mondays.
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a day to stand against a key part of state's gop agenda. >> overall, there tends to be a movement as we would call it, backwards. >> reporter: ever since they won control of both the governor's office and the legislature for the first time in more than a century, republican lawmakers have cut unemployment benefits, health care for the poor and moved to change voting laws. just last week the house approved new laws for doctors performing abortions. guidelines the governor indicates he will sign into law. try to ask some republican lawmakers about the protests and they take a pass. >> it is the people's house. >> reporter: conservative activists are firing back online where they posted some of the mug shots of the liberal protesters. also not down, republican governor pat mcrory who unveiled plans to cut taxes just before the latest moral monday protest. >> i have stepped on the toes in my first six months in office of the right and the left.
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and the media. >> you seem proud of it. >> maybe that means i'm doing something right. >> reporter: democrats say mccrory broke a campaign pledge. >> absolutely not. >> add some restrictions? >> no. >> that's going to be a promise kept. >> absolutely a promise kept. >> i think there are people all over the place who say, you know, it doesn't help if you have this much disagreement. >> reporter: the political science professor says north carolina has joined the list of such states as texas and wisconsin where conservative leaders are making gains no matter the protests. that goes for moral mondays. >> the real key is, is it going to have an effect on the legislative agenda in raleigh. that's an open question. >> so far i don't think that's the case. >> reporter: but these moral mondays, protesters say they'll keep on demonstrating even though they know we won't have a
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major impact on the laws being passed in this legislature. that, they say, is what the next election is for. >> thanks very much. we're just getting in some videotape, abc news' barbara walters sat down with trayvon martin's parents and got this reaction. >> when you finally got a chance to talk to your son in the courtroom, after the verdict, what did he say to you? >> i had him. i kiss him. and he said thank you, mom. i want to go home. >> are you concerned for george's safety? >> yes. >> why? what do you think could happen? >> it's a lot of death threats in the social media. >> are you concerned about death threats? have you had death threats? >> we had an enormous amount of death threats. >> my apologies. that was obviously george zimmerman's parents. barbara walters of abc news
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speaking with george zimmerman's parents. we'll take a quick break. hat da? guess what day it is! huh...anybody? julie! hey...guess what day it is?? ah come on, i know you can hear me. mike mike mike mike mike... what day is it mike? ha ha ha ha ha ha! leslie, guess what today is? it's hump day. whoot whoot! ronny, how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? i'd say happier than a camel on wednesday. hump day!!! yay!! get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. wi drive a ford fusion. who is healthier, you or your car? i would say my car. probably the car. cause as you get older you start breaking down. i love my car. i want to take care of it. i have a bad wheel - i must say. my car is running quite well. keep your car healthy with the works. $29.95 or less after $10 mail-in rebate at your participating ford dealer. so you gotta take care of yourself? yes you do. you gotta take care of your baby? oh yeah!
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>> when porcupine meets bulldog, it is the dog that gets bullied with a face full of quills. to remove them, dogs can be knocked out. what if it is a raven that needs to be plucked? >> this is going to hurt. >> this wild raven with quills in his face landed on girdy cleary's face in nova scotia. they say ravens are extremely intelligent. this one was smart enough to let a human help. with her daughter holding the camera -- girdy went after the first quill. >> there's one. good job. >> that went well. >> let me get the other one. i know, i know. >> he's screaming ought. i don't think he is trying to bite you. >> easy for the one not plucking to say. >> there you go. >> it reminded me of a child with a splinter. when you pull a splinter out, they holler and screech and pull their hand away. >> when a vet put a quill under
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the microscope, you see the barb that's make it so painful to pull out. are you surprised at how much attention it has gotten? >> i am. i at any time think it was such a big deal. i was just helping this poor creature. let me get that last one, ahhh. there we go. good. >> girdy removed a total of four quills. three in the raven's cheek, one in its wing. >> when i pulled the one out of the wick, he fell off the fence i pulled it so hard. >> they named the raven will fred. they gave it tuna and water. willfred flew off. now when she hears a raven calling at her -- >> i say, is that you? >> it takes a plucky lady to pluck a loud reign. ask edgar allan poe. >> take thy beak! >> make that, take thy quill from out my cheek.

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